Call for Papers: The World and World-Making in Contemporary Art: Connectivities and Differences

Date: Thursday, 11 August 2011 – 8:30am – Saturday, 13 August 2011 – 5:00pm
Venue: Sir Roland Wilson Building, ANU

*Note the session on Indigenous World-Making in Art*

This international conference coincides with the Humanities Research Centre’s theme for 2011 on ‘The World and World-Making in the Humanities and the Arts’. It complements two further HRC conferences in 2011 on World Literature and World History.

The conference will explore a number of key issues in art discourses today and also address a central concern of the HRC’s theme in invoking the idea of world-making beyond cultural divides and instead, speaking ‘to a domain of human connectivity’.   We seek to explore the significance of connectivities and differences in the field of art: its practices, histories, institutions, inclusions and exclusions, ethical concerns and theoretical and methodological approaches under the overarching theme of ‘the World and World-Making’. While much of the focus of the conference will inevitably be on contemporary transformations resulting in part from globalization and geopolitical changes in our world, including   migrations and transnational movements of people and art as well as new means of human connectivity and cultural exchange, we also welcome papers that address historical dimensions of the theme of ‘the World and World-Making in Art’.

The conference will be organized around 4 key sub themes:

1) World-Making and the concept of ‘Global Art’: Connectivities and Differences
2) Cosmopolitanism
3) Crossing Borders: artists, institutions, exhibitions and audiences
4) Indigenous World-Making in art

Issues we wish to address include:
Postcolonialism, old and new empires, art and key ‘world’ concerns such as global conflict, the environment  and  human rights, Indigenous world-making, new technologies, new media and new means of connectivity in art, ‘world’ exhibitions such as Biennales, art outside the museum/ institutional context, art markets and art-world systems, redefinitions that may question ‘nation- or region-centric paradigms of knowledge making’ and the challenge of  moving beyond a EuroAmericentric  ‘world view’.

Several key speakers have already agreed to participate including Professor Patrick Flores (University of the Philippines), Professor Marsha Meskimmon (Loughborough University, UK) whose new book on contemporary art and the cosmopolitan imagination opens up many issues relevant to our conference, Professor Pat Hoffie (Griffith University), Xu Hong (Research Department National Art Museum of China), Mella Jaarsma (Artist and co-founder of Cemeti Art House and Indonesia Visual Art Archive, Indonesia), Dr Anthony Gardner (Andrew Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London),  and Tony Ellwood (Director of the Queensland Art Gallery) who will speak on curating the major exhibition ‘Twenty-First Century Art’. The conference will complement an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery on contemporary Asian portraits and the panel on ‘art and conflict’ will be jointly hosted with the Australian War Memorial.

Time allowed for the presentation of each paper at the conference will be 20 minutes as we wish to have extended discussion.

Short Abstracts of approximately 300 words and a short biography should be sent to Caroline Turner (

Deadline for Abstracts:
3 March 2011
Notification of Acceptance: 25 March 2011

Caroline Turner, Research School of Humanities and the Arts, ANU
Michelle Antoinette, Research School of Humanities and the Arts, ANU
Zara Stanhope, Research School of Humanities and the Arts, ANU
Jackie Menzies, Head of Asian Art, Art Gallery of NSW

For more information see the ANU website:


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