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New Voices 2018: Art and Conflict

November 9, 2018
Association for Art History

Edinburgh
United Kingdom

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New Voices is the Association for Art History’s annual one-day conference for new postgraduate research about art, art history and visual culture. This year also marks 20 years of New Voices for art history.

Depictions of conflict have played a significant artistic and political role in various cultures throughout history. Recent studies have focused on the part that art and artists play during armed conflict, revolutions, and reconciliation, demonstrating the potential art has to glorify, memorialize, critique or oppose conflict. In addition, conflict is present in ongoing discourse surrounding post-colonial theory and the role of cultural institutions in relation to looted art and artefacts.

New Voices 2018 will give postgraduate and doctoral researchers an opportunity to discuss the topic of art and conflict and to address persistent historical, contextual, and conceptual questions. How do artists represent conflict in their work? How can art be used as a weapon of resistance and a means of reconstruction? What is the artist’s obligation, if any, to conflict? How does art respond uniquely to different kinds of conflict?

To offer a wide-ranging and inclusive discussion, New Voices will consider ‘conflict’ in its broadest sense. We welcome contributions from all periods that address the theme. Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Representations of war/violence
  • Art as resistance; the artist as activist
  • Disputes between artists and patrons/dealers/critics
  • Contested definitions (in theory and practice)
  • Revolutionary activities of the avant-garde and counter-culture
  • Looted artworks and art restitution
  • Depictions of psychological conflict (e.g. conflicting identities)
  • Controversial exhibitions
  • Iconoclasm/iconoclastic artistic methods
  • The limits of representation
  • Making conflict visible/invisible


We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers which explore these themes. Please email paper proposals of no more than 250 words, along with a 150-word biographical note by 10 August 2018  to decr@forarthistory.org.uk 

The Call for Papers is open to postgraduate researchers (Masters and doctoral) of all related disciplines; attendance is open to all.

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