Church of Curtea de Argeş, jud. Argeş, Romania. 16th century

New Europe College – Institute for Advanced Study in Bucharest is pleased to announce an upcoming two-day conference from 30 November – 1 December 2019 on questions of periodisation in the art historiographies of Central and Eastern Europe.

The early stages of research by local historians into the art of Central and Eastern Europe went hand-in-hand with their gradual familiarisation with Western art and art history. These two processes shaped each other, even if the relationship between them was asymmetric, with the search for what was local framed by the knowledge of what was Western. However, the periodisations developed by Western art historians encountered difficulties when applied to artistic production from Central and Eastern Europe. Art historians from these regions needed to refine, ignore or hybridise such periodisations, while still bearing in mind the West as a point of reference, and the desirability of maintaining the idea of a synchronous development with it. In the centre-periphery paradigm, distance from the centre equated temporal belatedness, and/or allowed for alternative periodisations.

While the usefulness of periodisations in general has been questioned before, the established periodisations of Central and Eastern European art histories have not been systematically compared or criticised. Our conference aims to address this issue, inviting proposals that critically investigate how the art historians writing in or about Central and Eastern Europe in the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries used periodisations. We are interested in instances when established periodisations (Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque etc.) were adapted, adopted or contested, as well as in cases when different, local or regional periodisations were proposed. Comparative perspectives are especially welcome.

Professor Matthew Rampley (University of Birmingham, UK) will deliver the keynote.

The conference is organised within the ERC project Art Historiographies in Central and Eastern Europe. An Inquiry from the Perspective of Entangled Histories, hosted by New Europe College – Institute for Advanced Study in Bucharest. Help with travel and accommodation costs may be offered to participants who are unable secure funding from their institutions. There is no participation fee. The organisers intend to publish the conference proceedings as an edited volume.

All papers must be 30 mins maximum. Please submit an abstract of not more than 400 words, together with a one-page CV (with relevant publications) by 24 March 2019. Dr Ada Hajdu, Dr Mihnea Mihail, Dr Magdalena Kuninska and Dr Shona Kallestrup warmly welcome all submissions and queries at Successful applicants will be announced by 21 April 2019.

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