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CFP: Exchange: Assimilation and Appropriation in the Arts, Third Annual UCR History of Art Graduate Student Conference (May 17)
From antique and early modern forms of trade, exploration and colonization to more modern
forms of cultural contact through immigration and the development of the internet, cultural
exchange continues to have an impact on the construction of the arts and art trends around the
world. This multi-disciplinary conference seeks to explore the relationship between assimilation
and appropriation in the arts, in any of its forms, from antiquity to the contemporary.
Sophisticated networks of trade, world exploration and cultural sovereignty established and
experienced throughout antiquity and the early modern period changed local arts and impacted
cultural exchange. This form of contact can be traced back as early as 700 BCE, as influential
Greek colonies were established in what is today known as Italy. Similarly, the Dutch invasion
and colonization of Indonesia during the seventeenth century also had a major lasting impact on
the cultural makeup of the region. Cultural exchange has not been limited to physical avenues,
however, and the movement of ideas by visual forms of exchange has fostered artistic inspiration
and aesthetic amalgamation. For example, upon encountering African masks in Parisian
museums, Pablo Picasso appropriated certain African aesthetics for his cubist studies. Similarly,
late nineteenth century American artist William Merritt Chase borrowed motifs inspired by
Japanese prints and ceramics. These brief examples serve to demonstrate our expanded approach
to the idea of assimilation and appropriation as integral aspects of artistic and cultural
development, absorption or resistance.
Among the questions we seek to address are: How may cultural and aesthetic authenticity be
threatened by the loss of national identity? How have methods of appropriation and vehicles of
distribution changed over time through the development of transportation, mechanical
reproduction and the internet? What is the overall lasting impact of various forms of exchange,
whether experienced through personal travel or cultural invasion, whether accepted or
unwelcome, whether voluntary or forced? Approaches to these questions could come in the
forms of fine art, fashions, foods, design, architecture, literature, race, religion, and many more.
We invite abstracts of no more than 300 words for 20-minute paper presentations examining the
intersection of the arts and assimilation and appropriation, in any of its forms. We encourage
papers that demonstrate an interdisciplinary approach to the art-historical record.
Please email abstracts to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, February 28, 2014.
will be held at the California Museum of Photography in downtown Riverside, CA, on Saturday,
May 17, 2014.
We are honored to host Los Angeles based scholar, Sofia Sanabrais, as this year’s keynote