Subject: CFP: 3 Sessions at AAH 2020 (Birmingham, 14-16 Apr 21)

Association for Art History’s 47th Annual Conference (AAH), University of Birmingham, April 14 – 17, 2021
Deadline: Oct 19, 2020

[1] Why Trompe l’Oeil? The art of deception across the boundaries of time and space
[2] The Space Between Non-Arts and Fine Arts: Confronting Gender and the Decorative Arts, 1500–1800
[3] Exhibiting Craft: Histories, contexts, practices


[1] Why Trompe l’Oeil? The art of deception across the boundaries of time and space

From: Chih-En Chen
Date: Jul 5, 2020

Session Convener:
Stacey Pierson, SOAS University of London,
Chih-En Chen, SOAS University of London,

Trompe l’oeil, meaning ‘deceiving the eye’, describes works of art and objects with illusionistically beguiling surfaces and forms. Production of such works can now be identified as a global historical phenomenon, with a broad array of examples ranging from the familiar Palissy wares, to Edward Collier’s painting of writing implements, to Chinese jade cabbages that have been challenging the material experience of visuality and countervisuality for hundreds of years. However, despite its long history of production, the ontology of trompe l’oeil artistic production and the reasons behind this illusory invention remain unexplored. Engaging with the concept of trompe l’oeil in expanded art-historical and visual fields of inquiry, across time and space, would allow us to probe the evolution of the pursuit of deceptive visual representation and the consumption of deceitful things in relation to both heuristic and contextual frames such as politics, religion, society and the economics of production.

Accordingly, ‘Why trompe l’oeil?’ will be the fundamental question addressed in this session. Papers might explore how different types of global trompe l’oeil art production have shaped the ways in which such art is produced, dispersed, consumed and conceptualised. Moreover, other artificial approaches to representing reality that developed alongside the concept of trompe l’oeil, such as Skeuomorphism, Cubism, Indeterminism and Naturalism, might also be considered. The primary aim of the session is to expose the rationale and motivation for trompe l’oeil art production by considering its different forms from a trans-historical and trans-spatial perspective and we invite papers that explore this through a range of different perspectives and methodological approaches.

To submit a paper proposal, please fill out the proposal form ( and send to by 19 October 2020. Please provide a title and abstract (250 words max), and a CV.


[2]  The Space Between Non-Arts and Fine Arts: Confronting Gender and the Decorative Arts, 1500–1800

From: Samantha Chang
Date: Jul 6, 2020

Session Conveners:
Samantha Chang, University of Toronto,
Lauryn Smith, Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Museum of Art,

Tara Hamling, University of Birmingham

The decorative arts are not easily defined and have long occupied the shifting space between the non-arts and the fine arts. During the early modern period, prominent women, such as Catherine de’ Medici and Amalia van Solms-Braunfels, were at the forefront of amassing impressive collections of decorative objects. Limoges enamel pieces created by Susanne de Court and embroideries fabricated by Katharina Rozee were highly sought after by collectors throughout Europe. Recent exhibitions and publications highlight early modern women as participants in the creating, cultivating, and collecting of decorative objects; however, the examination of women’s agency and visibility is still limited.

In this session, we seek papers that confront the impact of early-modern women instigators as conscious creators or collectors of everyday and luxury objects. What role does gender play in the creation of decorative works and the cultivation of a collection? To what extent can a collection reflect its individual users, and what agencies do the objects retain? We invite proposals that address issues including, but not limited to: women as cultural agents; interrelationships among gender and collecting; issues of class and accessibility to resources; and strategies of display. We welcome proposals from a wide variety of disciplines, including art history, material culture, global studies, cultural studies, history, literature, and race studies, as well as papers that take a global or transcultural approach and focus on under-researched media.

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers. Please download and submit the completed proposal form to the session co-conveners. Abstract length is maximum 250 words. For more information, visit


[3] Exhibiting Craft: Histories, contexts, practices

From: Claire Jones
Date: Jul 6, 2020

Session Convenors:
Claire Jones, Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies, University of Birmingham,
Inês Jorge, Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies, University of Birmingham,

Craft has mainly been defined in relation – and in opposition – to fine art, design and industry; practices of making; and national, disciplinary and material boundaries. The emerging field of exhibition histories offers a significant framework for understanding how craft has been shaped by different contexts and methods of display. The wide scope of spaces, agents, strategies and practices involved in craft exhibitions, suggests that these can be powerful tools for asserting and questioning the creative, political, economic, institutional and social role of craft, and for engaging with various publics.

This session will explore craft from the perspective of exhibition and display histories. We invite proposals from practitioners, curators and academics, among others, that address the ways in which craft has been exhibited across a range of geographical areas and historical periods, and the ways in which those displays have shaped and (re)defined the meaning(s) of craft. Topics might include exhibits within and beyond institutional spaces such as domestic, outdoor and alternative venues; the roles of makers, curators, institutional staff and audiences; physical interactions with craft; craft-making as public display/performance; engagement with specific communities; questions of ethnicity, nationalism, sexuality and gender; and exhibitions that consider the interdisciplinary, local and/or global character of craft; all with a focus on how the exhibition of craft has fostered perceptions of craft.

Deadline for submissions: Monday 19 October 2020

How to submit: Please submit your paper proposal directly to the Session Convenors via their email addresses using the online form,

Reference / Quellennachweis:
CFP: 3 Sessions at AAH 2020 (Birmingham, 14-16 Apr 21). In:, Jul 6, 2020. <>.

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