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Revival: Utopia, Identity, Memory

Revivalism in art and architecture is a fundamental though often overlooked aspect of modernity. From the nineteenth century to the present, styles, ideologies, techniques and approaches have been revived and re-framed. Revival: Utopia, Identity, Memory seeks to investigate the diverse dimensions of revivalism, exploring its meanings and impacts across cultures, periods and media. The extent to which revivalism has been harnessed to promote idealist visions, assert aspects of personal or corporate identity, and grant fresh purchase on memorialization and nostalgia are all productive trajectories for investigation. The phenomenon’s implications for art and architectural history in relation to tradition, repetition, originality, transnationalism, patronage, religion, colonialism, historicism, reproduction, authenticity, resistance and power will be investigated. This conference will generate new understandings regarding selective reiterations or reworkings of the past to create new art, architecture and design. Its themes allow us to question common threads that may be traced between apparently disparate projects, such as resurgences of techniques or materials, medievialism, utopian futurism, empire and style, and the persistence of ‘neo’ in the midst of an ever-urgent quest for originality. Showcasing research from emerging and established scholars, the event encourages an academic process that uncovers convergences and supports broadening views to consider how histories are reinvented and to chart the notion of revivalism itself.