Keynote/Workshop (10-12, March 2022): Towards a Multi-Temporal Pluriverse of Art

Virtual workshop organized by Birgit Hopfener (Carleton University) and Karin Zitzewitz (Michigan State University) at Carleton University, Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Arts, and Culture, Thursday, March 10-12, 2022, and supported by the Ruth and Mark Phillips Professorship in Cultural Mediations (ICSLAC, Carleton University).

Current global ecological, political and social crises, this workshop argues, have once again underscored the urgency of unlearning universalized modern Western frameworks in order to uncover the world’s cosmological, epistemological and ontological heterogeneity. Co-constituted with the modern Western frameworks that have conceptualized the world in line with colonial and imperial Eurocentric power structures, art history has primarily reinforced social, political and epistemological inequalities and hierarchies.

This session approaches the broader decolonial project through the category of temporality. Despite post-structuralist critiques of historicism, art and art history continue to be dominantly governed by modern Western linear models of time, underpinned by notions of modernization, rupture, avant-garde, revolution, causality, progress and the denial of co-evalness of what is conventionally called “non-Western art.” This session embraces the decolonial concept of the pluriverse in order to explore the potential of art and art historical scholarship to un/recover the multiplicity of temporal and historiographic frameworks.

The workshop seeks contributions that decolonize universalized historiographic frameworks and temporal concepts of art and art history through combinations of Western critique and epistemological research into art’s multiple relations to time and traditions of (hi)story writing/telling. We invite papers that critically engage with alternative temporal frameworks of art, different ways of relating the past to the present and the future or contributions that analyze art historiographies, object biographies, historiographic art or historiographic exhibitions as articulations and evidence of engagements with multiple and/or entangled historiographic traditions and models, and their related concepts and functions of art.

While the workshop organizers focus on modern and contemporary art, we welcome papers grounded in diverse art historical periods and forms of research, including museum and curatorial studies and the anthropology and philosophy of art.

The workshop will take place as an online event at Carleton University, Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture on March 10, 2022.

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