The (After)Lives of Objects (online, 18-19 Mar 21)

Online / University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, March 18 – 19, 2021
Deadline: Dec 15, 2020

The [After]Lives of Objects: Transposition in the Material World
University of Virginia Art & Architectural History Graduate Symposium
Online Symposium

Transposition involves the movement of people, objects, and ideas from one context to another. The reverberating impacts of such regional and transregional exchanges have shaped artistic expressions, systems of knowledge, and relationships among polities. Recently, scholarship has turned to the object as a material manifestation of cross-cultural, transregional, and imperial encounters. [After]Lives is an interdisciplinary symposium that explores how transposition has materialized throughout history. How are objects changed when they are activated as mediums of encounter? In what ways do makers and users negotiate their positionality between and within societies through objects? How have artists and other creators problematized binary ideas of encounter and exchange in their works? When should adaptations be considered cultural appropriation instead of cross-cultural connectors? Can they be both? What is at stake when materials, artistic techniques, and/or technologies originating from one region are duplicated outside of that region?

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
– Mediation of transcultural encounters through visual and material objects
– Processes of adaptation and assimilation in visual and material culture
– History of looting, collecting, and the art market
– Role of institutions in the (re)contextualization of objects
– Studies that problematize notions of influence, exchange, and reception across social, cultural, and artistic hierarchies
– Imperial and colonial networks of collection, trade, and exchange

We welcome submissions from graduate students at all stages and areas of study. Papers should be 20 minutes in length and will be followed by a Q&A plenary session. Papers must be original and previously unpublished. Graduate students are invited to submit a CV and an abstract (250 words) in a single PDF file by December 15, 2020 to the symposium committee at Applicants will be notified of decisions by January 15, 2021. Limited funds will be available to cover expenses associated with presenting at the symposium.

Keynote Speaker: Kristel Smentek, Associate Professor of Art History, Department of Architecture, MIT | Author of Mariette and the Science of the Connoisseur in Eighteenth-Century Europe (2014) and Objects of Encounter: China in Eighteenth-Century France (forthcoming)

Reference / Quellennachweis:
CFP: The (After)Lives of Objects (online, 18-19 Mar 21). In:, Nov 15, 2020. <>.

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