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New Europe College Seminar Series on Periodization in the History of Art 2019, Romania

Publish Date: Nov 22, 2018

Deadline: Nov 30, 2018


three one-week seminars on periodization in the history of art to take place at the New Europe College-Institute for Advanced Study in Bucharest

A program supported by the Getty Foundation as part of its Connecting Art Histories initiative

We propose a series of three seminars of one-week duration each on periodization and related issues in the history of art, whose addressees are to be early-career art historians from East-Central Europe, and which would include a number of invited guest speakers, from this region, and outside it. Though a sense that the conventional periodizations are in need of revision can be detected earlier, a more pointed reflection on this topic can be noticed after the demise of communism and the dismantling of the colonial system. In the aftermath of the 1989 events in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, a number of scholars felt the pressing need to reconsider the place of local art histories within the established narratives, and to reflect on how these local histories might fit within the Western canon, or to question its authority. Art historians dealing with modern and contemporary art were particularly sensitive to such questions, but this gradually became a more general concern, affecting the writing of histories of art of earlier periods. Frictions between the generally accepted periodizations and local trajectories in art became more apparent, making it necessary to reflect on approaches that could address such concerns, and on the instruments art historians may put to use in order to tackle particular case studies. It thus seems to us that periodization, with the many issues related to it, is a topic likely to elicit interest from colleagues and younger scholars from countries in the region, and to lead to fruitful exchanges not just across the discipline, but across national borders, and – through the presence of the invited speakers – across regional ones. While we don’t expect the invited speakers to concentrate on topics of exclusively regional interest, we feel that sensitivity towards questions concerning periodization in local contexts may prove productive when bringing together younger scholars from this region and inviting them to reflect on periodization with their own scholarly concerns in mind. Taking into account these concerns seems to us of crucial importance: “anachronism” proved to be a very productive concept in rethinking the Renaissance, as Alexander Nagel and Christopher Wood did, e.g., but it is not always obvious how one can expand its use; or how one could work with such concepts as “horizontal art history”, and how to best handle “entangled histories”, “transfers”, not to mention “canons” in specific art historical situations. 

Structure and content

The Program will consist of a series of three one-week seminars with the participation of up to 20 early career scholars from East-Central Europe, up to 4 keynote/guest speakers, the Coordinator and the Consultants. Each seminar will have three main components:

- Talks delivered by keynote/guest speakers, followed by discussions; - Discussions taking as a starting point key texts relevant for the topics approached in the seminars;

- Presentations of works in progress/case studies by the addressees of the Program, that is, early career scholars from East-Central Europe, and discussions on them with colleagues, guest speakers, coordinator and consultants.

-Talks by keynote/guest speakers may be supplemented by (and in some cases substituted with) panel discussions, with the participation of Western scholars and scholars from East-Central Europe.

-Key texts will be suggested by the Coordinator and Consultants, with input from the invited guests, as well as from the addressees. They will be circulated in advance among them.

-During each of the seminars we would expect about a third among the participants to present their work in progress on a case study, which would make for six-seven papers in all. Scholars presenting papers will be identified in advance (and their agreement to do so secured), and papers will be – whenever possible – circulated before the seminar among the participants, so as to make possible a productive, in-depth discussion.

-These activities will alternate during the working days of the seminars, which will make for an overall duration of slightly more than a week


The program targets early-career art historians from Central and Eastern European countries. They should hold a PhD or be in a demonstrably advanced stage of work on the thesis and be citizens of one of the former socialist states in East-Central Europe or of the post-Soviet republics. Once selected, the applicants are expected to take part in the whole series of seminars.

Travel, accommodation and meals will be arranged and covered by the organizing institution.


Applications will be submitted in electronic format only, to the address:

Candidates are asked to enter in the Subject field of their e-mail message “Periodization seminar series”.

There is no application form for this program. The applications will include, besides their CV, publications list and two letters of reference from scholars acquainted with their activity and written specifically for this series of seminars, a letter of intent, explaining as fully as possible the reasons of their interest to take part in this series; applicants would be asked to include, in addition, the sketch of a project (or a more elaborate form of it) addressing a case study or a question/questions pertinent to the themes of the seminar series, that might be presented and discussed during the seminars. These elements will all constitute criteria of selection. Special weight will be accorded to their engagement (as shown by their previous and current interests) in the questions we propose to raise during this series of seminars.

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

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