HASA Call for Papers: (Re)connecting

November 27, 2020 by Department of Art History

The History of Art Students’ Association (HASA) at the University of Toronto is pleased to open the call for papers for our Seventh Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium!

The theme of this year’s symposium is "(Re)Connecting".

Many of us probably feel now, more than ever, the need for connection. A need to witness, feel, and understand the spaces within and between ourselves, others, and the world around us. Art is unique in its ability to foster and propagate connection despite limitations of space or time. Artists, artworks, material culture and museum/gallery spaces exist as spaces of connection, be it through individuals or collectives. This year’s theme invites exploration into the ways that art does not exist inside a vacuum. We pose the questions: how do connections exist in the matrix of art, and how does art (re)connect us in the absence of connection?

Submissions can broadly consider relationships between artists and/or art movements or focus on particular artworks or objects and their meaning/reception. One might consider how many artists formed groups with others whose ideologies they connected to, like Der Blaue Reiter, and others joined guilds for economic means. Some artists do not conform to a single movement, like Pablo Picasso, and thus are set apart by their disconnection. A work might articulate individual religious or spiritual relationships, like Caspar David Friedrich’s Monk by the Sea (1810), or it may communicate relationships in a larger religious institution, like Michelangelo’s ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, commissioned by the Catholic church. Some connections are formed over great periods in time, like how some art movements share the same influences; the Renaissance and Neoclassicism modelled their principles on the Greco-Roman world. Naturally, others are reactions to previous artistic forms; we can see this in Neo-Dada and Post-Impressionism. Others have foreign contemporaries, like Cubism and Futurism. Other questions worth considering include; Where do artists draw their influences? How do nationalism and religion affect artistic styles and movements? How do artists modify and evolve their style in order to adapt to different movements? How do we account for moments of connection that are exploitative, like in the appropriation of a non-Western culture’s material culture for art by prominent artists?

Our hopes for this theme are to spark consideration into art’s influence on and place within connections, whatever form they may take. We invite students to submit papers that explore topics relating to this theme. Ideas might include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Art historical periods, and their shared influences and connectedness
  • Identity; regions and cultures
  • Ideas of disconnection and isolation
  • Community and individuality; academies, mentors, and mentees
  • Nationalism and xenophobia
  • Relations between artists, groups, and movements
  • Interdisciplinary arts: interrelation of visual arts, literature, and music
  • Imitation, appropriation, and plagiarism

This symposium aims to create a supportive environment in which undergraduate art historians can challenge their fields of interest and explore research as a community. We ask for papers that show a high degree of independent thinking and that may discuss any period in the art-historical timeline. We welcome papers that take religious and/or historical approaches just as much as those that explore the theme in a literal and/or a postmodern framework.

Submission Requirements:

We invite papers ranging from approximately 1,500–2,500 words (not including footnotes and bibliography) on an issue related to the symposium theme. Longer papers can be considered on a case by case basis. Papers can be excerpts from larger works or separate independent pieces but must have a strong thesis and be well supported with primary and secondary material. Papers will be published in Chicago style, so it is strongly encouraged that your submission conforms to this from the beginning. Interested students must submit their full paper and include a brief abstract (max. 250 words) to this form by 11:59 pm on Monday, January 11, 2021.

On your title page, you should include your name, institution, year of study, paper’s title (or working title), course or supervisor, the grade received (optional), and approximate length of the paper, followed by your abstract. Everything should be in a single attachment as a document or pdf file. Our final selection of papers will be decided by Sunday, January 25, 2021.

Due to the current circumstances regarding COVID-19, this symposium will be hosted virtually over Zoom on March 13, 2021. If you do not reasonably expect to be able to present at the virtual symposium on this date, please refrain from submitting.

We will not be distributing hard copies of the published journal as it will instead exist as an open access Ebook available for download. A full program will be available and emailed to the speakers once decisions have been finalized. It will also be posted on our website: https://arthistoryutoronto.wixsite.com/hasa.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to connect with us at hasa.uoft@gmail.com.