Traveling Research Seminars: Linking Art Worlds – American Art and Eastern Europe from the Cold War to the Present | Call for Papers
Leibniz-Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO)
DisciplinesArt history History Political science
The Leibniz-Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO), with joint support from the Terra Foundation for American Art and the Getty Foundation through its "Connecting Art Histories initiative", is launching a new series of traveling research seminars to explore relationships between the U.S. and East-Central European art scenes after 1945.
Led by Dr. Beáta Hock, “Linking Art Worlds: American Art and Eastern Europe in the Cold War to the Present” re-examines national art histories from a transnational and interdisciplinary perspective, also implicating socio-historical and political factors underpinning artistic practice. The project takes the form of five extended meetings of seminars, lectures, site visits and writing workshops. The seminars will be held in Prague, Budapest, Berlin/Leipzig, New York and Giverny (France) over 2022-24.
Places are available for ca. fifteen junior fellows predominantly from East, Central and Southeastern Europe but also from the United States and other European countries. The program targets early-career scholars (advanced graduate students, post-docs, pre-tenure faculty, independent researchers) of art history or related disciplines, showing a general interest in the postwar period and in comparative/transnational perspectives. Fellows will ideally participate in all events taking place in Linking Art Worlds. Travel, accommodation and meals will be arranged and covered by the organizing institution.
Divided by the Iron Curtain — connected through art historical inquiry
The art scenes of the postwar United States and Eastern Europe have been rarely viewed within a shared framework. Rather, art history writing has captured the post-war decades in terms of an ultimate difference between artistic styles and cultural politics in the two opposing political blocs. With a view to displacing Cold War-indebted narratives and superseding traditional art history’s center-periphery frameworks, the seminar series studies the relationship between American art and events, developments and debates within the art scenes of East, Central and Southeastern Europe during the Cold War and in the post-socialist period. Exploring various „subtexts” defining art making both in North America and Eastern Europe, Linking Art Worlds sheds new light on telling differences and tease out hitherto lesser acknowledged parallels, connections, or synchronicities between the U.S. and East European contexts.
Reflecting on moments of direct encounter, such as artists’ travels, exhibitions, and participation in communities that embraced thinking across borders, serves as the foundation for further explorations, encompassing comparative perspectives on a number of key themes:
- the multi-layered relation between art, politics, and ideologies (artists’ political commitment vs. artistic and intellectual freedom; socially engaged art practices; cultural politics and cultural diplomacy; mainstreams and countercultures; renewing mechanisms of censorship; art under illiberal democracies)
- feminism/post-feminism and gendered artistic practices (pluralizing the Feminist Art Movement; female artists and the socialist way of women’s emancipation; LGBTQ artistic and curatorial practices; the global right’s anti-gender countermovement)
- race and ethnicity, critical whiteness, and decolonial thinking (identity politics and minority artists’ access to representation; transcontinental solidarities “then and now”; Eastern Europe postcolonial?)
Structure and dates
The Program consists of
- an opening symposium. Location: Prague, Projected date: late May 2022 (3 days)
- a series of three five-day long seminars with the participation of 12-15 early career scholars, two senior faculty members and invited keynote/guest speakers. Locations and projected dates: Budapest early-mid September 2022 (5 days) Berlin / Leipzig April 2023 (5 days) New York September 2023 (5 days)
- a writing retreat and authors’ workshop. Location: Giverny (France) Projected date: May 2024 (5 days)
The kick-off symposium: drawing on the Terra Foundation-supported volume Hot Art, Cold War—Southern and Eastern European Writing on American Art (Routledge 2020), invited speakers foreground observable contacts and various types of encounters between the American and East-Central European art scenes during and after the Cold War.
The seminars: Site visits and meetings are geared towards exploring the circulation, reception, and other “traces” of American art in Eastern Europe. Discussion sessions and junior fellows’ presentations will cluster around concrete art objects, events or practices marking notable developments within the US art scene and/or in Eastern Europe. In preparation for the seminars, junior fellows are asked to:
- complete a reading list of 3-4 items
- form groups of 3-4
- and, working remotely from their respective locations, put together a small-group presentation on one of the topics of the next upcoming seminar.
The writing retreat and authors’ workshop: senior faculty and participants discuss and give mutual feedback to manuscripts-in-progress produced for a final joint publication. Junior fellows are asked to use the 7-month period between the latest Seminar and the Writing Retreat to produce a manuscript draft.
A workshop on getting published in English-language peer-reviewed journals will also be offered.
Seminars are co-led by senior faculty John J. Curley, Ph.D. (Wake Forest University, NC), Dr. Tomáš Pospiszyl (Academy of Fine Arts, Prague) and Dr. Joshua Shannon (University of Maryland, TBC).
How to apply
To apply, submit the following documents as a single file to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 4 February 2022. Please put "Application Linking Art Worlds" in the subject line of the email.
- a short CV, clearly indicating your name, email address, institutional affiliation, position, postal address, and home country (including country of citizenship). Make sure to include a selection of your most relevant publications or research projects, if applicable.
- a two-page statement / motivation letter describing your knowledge and interest in the subject. Please also explain how the seminars may be relevant to your research and in what way you expect to benefit from participation. Note, however, that an expertise in both North American and East European art or cultural history is not specifically required!
- the names and contact details of two referees who can attest to your academic performance
- optional: one (English-language) writing sample, anywhere between 5 and 20 pages (preferably a published work)
The applications will be evaluated on the quality of the proposals (with emphasis on the two-page statement). Once selected, applicants are expected to take part in the whole series of seminars. The selection committee aims to notify successful applicants by the end of February.
For enquiries, please contact Beáta Hock by email email@example.com
This program is made possible with support from the Terra Foundation for American Art and from the Getty Foundation through its Connecting Art Histories initiative.
Enquiries: Beáta Hock: firstname.lastname@example.org