Concordia University’s Art History Graduate Students Association announces its annual graduate conference in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

March 16 & 17, 2012

Embodied Knowledge in Art and Visual Culture

Keynote Speaker:
Dr. Natasha Myers
Professor from the department of Anthropology & Scientific and Technology Studies, York University


Concordia University’s Art History Graduate Student Association presents Situate Yourself: Embodied Knowledge in Art and Visual Culture, a two-day graduate conference drawing from the idea that the researcher is not a removed, ‘passive’ observer but rather one who is invested in his or her research and the knowledge produced. In “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective” (1991), Donna Haraway invites scholars to free themselves from “unlocatable and so irresponsible research” (p.583), and to position themselves within their research questions and subject matter using partial, located, and embodied knowledge. Haraway’s ideas continue to be relevant for art historians interested in pushing beyond the traditional disciplinary boundaries of academia and incorporating embodied knowledge into their research toolboxes.

This conference will investigate how research can become a process of exchange involving the intertwining of mind and body, self and other. It will provide a platform to consider the emergence of these processes within the realm of contemporary knowledge production. We invite papers from a variety of disciplines and approaches, addressing the fundamental questions surrounding inquiry-based research from the perspectives of visual culture, art history, and art practice. This multidisciplinarity will allow and encourage researchers to bring their own particular location and position into the research.

Situate Yourself will challenge participants to explore how their situatedness or position has implicated their findings in their research. Topics for discussion could include, but are not limited to:

  • performance art: performativity, phenomenology, endurance, action art, body art, etc.
  • new media: physical and virtual bodies
  • ability and disability in performance art
  • architecture that considers place through the embodied experience
  • the body in contemporary feminist art practices
  • marginalized bodies: contemporary considerations of identity politics in art and visual culture
  • site-specific art involving the body
  • disciplined bodies, politicized bodies, biopolitics
  • subject/object relations in art: the artist as anthropologist, ethnographer, colonizer, colonized
  • peripatetic bodies, walking in art, bodies situated in particular spaces
  • participatory art, bodily experiences of artworks, audience and performer relations

Presentations will be 20 minutes in length (no more than 2,500 words), and will be followed by a discussion period.

Please send a 300-word abstract (in English or French), a biographical note (no more than 3 sentences) and contact information (name of institution, degree program, email address and phone number) in a Word attachment using 12 Times Roman type to by Monday, December 12, 2011. Submissions from artists should include up to three j-peg images (72 dpi maximum). Notifications will be sent by January 16, 2012.