CfP: Mobility, Movement and Medium: Crossing Borders

June 26, 2020
School of Philosophy and Art History, University of Essex

United Kingdom

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Call for Papers

Keynote Speaker: TBA

Art and people create and cross borders, in physical as well as in abstract form. Mobility and movement along and across borders shape the way people express their identities, opinions, and emotions. Crossing state borders, borders between media of art, and between disciplines raises a multiplicity of moral, political, and methodological questions. In the political case, one central question is whether it is permissible to close borders or if they should exist at all? Who has the right to set, alter, or eliminate a border; and by what criteria can one justifiably keep people out? Additionally, new developments such as Brexit make us re-evaluate our conventional understanding of borders. Contemporary artists such as Susanne Lacy, Willie Doherty, and Amalia Pica explore the impact borders have on the lives of people and devote their work to erasing borders between art and politics, art practice and theory, artist and spectator. From the academic perspective, the question is whether interdisciplinary collaborations require an interdisciplinary methodology; and whether academic research on inter-culturality requires an “inter-culturalisation” of academia?

The University of Essex SPAH Postgraduate Student Conference is looking for contributions on questions of “Mobility, Movement and Medium.” The organisers welcome articles by scholars of our two disciplines, Art History and Philosophy, and neighbouring disciplines. We are interested in papers that present new research and fresh perspectives surrounding, but not restricted to, the topics below:

· Migration and displacement

· Closed borders vs. open borders

· Cultural borders

· The mobility of art and artists

· Colonialism, postcolonialism, orientalism

· Decolonial theories

· Performance across borders

· Cross-cultural performance

· Otherness and alienness

· Artistic practice and discourse: movement of perception

· Art beyond the Western canon

· Dislocation in the shaping of art and beyond “borders”

· Medium as a border (photography, installation art, performance, participatory art, mystery plays, ephemeral art, land art, eco-aesthetics, etc.)

Please write an anonymised abstract of no more than 500 words of your proposal and send it to by 15th April 2020. The notice of acceptance will be given by 22th April 2020. The finalised papers should last no more than twenty minutes in length when read, and their acceptance is subject to team-review.

We strongly encourage submissions from underrepresented groups in both disciplines. Convinced that responses to contemporary challenges require creativity and knowledge transfer, the conference welcomes proposals combining methods applied within and across each discipline. Abstracts should be written in English. Please include images if these are necessary to the understanding of your abstract.

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