The Art History Graduate Student Association of Concordia University announces its annual art history graduate conference at Concordia University, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada


March 11 & 12, 2011



Keynote Speaker:  Dr. Kristen Emiko McAllister

Associate Professor, Department of Art History, Simon Fraser University


Making Space

A Graduate Conference on the Shifting Concept of Space in Studies of Art and Visual Culture




Concordia University’s Art History Graduate Student Association invites proposals for Making Space, a two-day graduate conference that will investigate ‘space’ as a concept that defines and redefines itself. Rather than simply reiterating the connection between notions of space and art, this conference will approach the topic as an issue of method and practice; it seeks to approach space as a critical question.


The concept of space has multiple meanings when it comes to understanding the study and production of art and visual culture: negative space, empty space, white space, perspectival space, illusionistic space, psychological space, physical space, public space, and private space. In the absence of a stable definition, how do we respond to and understand space in visual and artistic production without the concept loosing meaning? What frameworks do we use to examine how artists and scholars address the concept of space? Can space be objective? And, if space is not objective how has it subjectively been interpreted? How does space serve as a tool that allows us to talk about the world and the art object? The conference will investigate these questions by addressing not only the specific ways space has been and is being mobilized by scholars and artists, but further, the need for the notion of space itself.


We invite graduate students and emerging scholars from all disciplines studying art objects and visual culture to submit abstracts. Papers addressing historical or contemporary examples are welcome, as are case studies of specific artworks, artists, exhibitions, publications or institutions. We are interested in papers that explore these questions within the Canadian or international context.


Potential topics include, but are not restricted to:


·       Historiographical readings of space

·       Negotiating balances of power through space

·       Representing colonial, post-colonial, and neo-colonial spaces

·       Settler experiences and perspectives on space

·       Visualizing histories and spaces of resistance and on the margins

·       Understanding geography and space as active and heterogeneous

·       Mapping, shaping, creating and producing space

·       Understanding embodied, experiential, psychological and emotional space

·       Sensorial readings and understandings of space

·       Recording, reimagining and reshaping space through documentation and the archive

·       Manufacturing space through tourism, heritage and culture

·       Constructions of gendered space, private and domestic space

·       Globalization, transnationalism and technology in redefining space

·       The disappearance, or emptiness of space, the destruction of space



Presentations will be 20 minutes in length (or approximately 2,500 words), and will be followed by a discussion period.


Please send a 300-word abstract (in English or French), a short biographical note and all relevant contact information to by Monday, December 13, 2010. Notifications will be sent by January 15, 2011.