[artinfo] (fwd) CFP: Art History and Socialism(s) 1940s-1960s

Andreas Broeckmann ab at mikro.in-berlin.de
Mon Jan 11 17:43:46 CET 2016

From: Kristina Jõekalda <kristina.joekalda at artun.ee>
Date: Jan 11, 2016
Subject: CFP: Art History and Socialism(s) 1940s-1960s

Tallinn, October 28 - 29, 2016

Deadline: Feb 25, 2016

Art History and Socialism(s) after World War II: The 1940s until the 1960s

Location: Institute of Art History, Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn
Hosting institution: Estonian Academy of Arts

Although the Soviet and Eastern European 
socialist regimes of the latter 20th century seem 
to lie in the distant past now, research on them 
still has many uncovered areas. This applies not 
least to the role of "socialist" art historians, 
their activities and functions in universities, 
exhibitions and the mass media, and especially 
their academic text production. Deriving from a 
complicated socio-cultural set of relations, the 
common denominator for which was "socialism", 
these art historical "acts" shaped the general 
comprehensions of art, culture and history in the 
society at large. With the overall 
historiographical turn in the humanities, 
scholars from the Baltic to the Balkan region 
have begun to re-address the various histories of 
artworks, architecture, artistic styles and whole 
epochs that these practices constructed. 
Conferences on this recent art historical past 
have been held and scholarly publications issued, 
including in English, today's lingua franca, but 
the vast majority of research remains only in 
native languages, thus circulating mainly at the 
local level.

Our call for papers originates from the 
conviction that researchers of socialist art 
history need a common platform, to introduce and 
compare art historical practices across the 
former Soviet Union and the socialist countries 
of Europe. Paraphrasing the late Piotr 
Piotrowski, the time is ripe for the project of a 
"horizontal" reading of socialist art history. As 
with different "socialisms", "socialist art 
history" as an umbrella term covers a variety of 
ways of writing the history of art and 
architecture. Moscow's influence varied greatly 
depending on the decade, region and particular 
situation. In addition to ideological pressure 
and terror, other factors - of which neighbours 
might not have been or still might not be aware - 
affected the art historical ideas and practices 
of different Soviet republics and the satellite 
states in Eastern and Central Europe. The making 
of art history and its visual displays by means 
of exhibitions (as well as contemporary artistic 
practices) also depended on the international art 
history discourse, even though the range and 
accessibility of literature etc. varied from 
country to country.

The conference addresses these topics primarily 
via the historiographical and theoretical levels:
- Moscow's role in developing the theoretical 
grounds of the Marxist-Leninist art history 
discourse (one centre?, unity of theoretical 
- implementing this discourse in the Soviet 
Union, in its new member republics and in the new 
"socialist countries" (national socialist schools 
of art history?)
- interpreting art historical concepts and 
periodisation; shifts occurring over time; 
comparison with the Western art history 
- the complicated relationship with Modernism 
during the Stalinist era; its later inclusion in 
the Marxist-Leninist discourse of art history.

Please submit your title and abstract of approx. 
400 words in RTF, DOC or DOCX format. The 
proposal should include your affiliation, a brief 
biography (approx. 150 words) and contact 
details. The deadline is 25 February 2016, and 
the submission should be addressed to Kristina 
Jõekalda, kristina.joekalda at artun.ee.

Participants will be notified in April 2016. We 
will probably be able to reimburse the 
accommodation and travel costs for speakers. 
Participation in the conference is free of 
charge. The conference language is English.

The post-World War II socialism and related art 
historical discourse had many faces: too many for 
a single conference. Therefore we have launched a 
series of conferences, the first of which will be 
held in Tallinn in October 2016, focussing on the 
decades immediately following the war. In 2017 
and 2018 follow-up conferences will be held in 
Leipzig and Berlin.

The 2016 two-day conference will be hosted by the 
Institute of Art History at the Estonian Academy 
of Arts in Tallinn, in cooperation with the 
Centre for the History and Culture of East 
Central Europe (Geisteswissenschaftliches Zentrum 
Geschichte und Kultur Ostmitteleuropas - GWZO) in 
Leipzig, and the Chair of Art History of Eastern 
and East Central Europe at Humboldt University of 

Advisory board and organisation:
Prof. Krista Kodres, PhD, Estonian Academy of Arts
Marina Dmitrieva, PhD, GWZO Leipzig Prof. 
Michaela Marek, PhD, Humboldt University of 
Berlin Antje Kempe, M.A., Humboldt University of 
Kristina Jõekalda, M.A., Estonian Academy of Arts

Reference / Quellennachweis:
CFP: Art History and Socialism(s) 1940s-1960s 
(Tallinn, 28-29 Oct 16)). In: H-ArtHist, Jan 11, 

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