Graduate Symposium & Exhibition: Sights/Sites of Spectacle, Jan. 29-30, 2010

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University of British Columbia, Art History, Visual Art and Theory

29th Annual AHVA Graduate Symposium and Exhibition: Sights/Sites of Spectacle

Call for Submissions:

In 2010, the city of Vancouver will become the site of an immense international spectacle. On the eve of the Olympic Games, the AHVA 2010 Graduate Symposium and Exhibition will engage with the notion of spectacle as theoretical concept, historical phenomenon, and artistic theme.

Performance, subjectivity, power, agency, and mediation have been central to the theorization of spectacle. In his oft-cited The Society of the Spectacle (1967), Guy Debord presents the modern spectacle as hinging on, and being indicative of, issues of economic control, disempowerment, and mass consumerism. Shifting the study of spectacle to contexts beyond those of capitalist consumption, postmodernist and poststructuralist scholars have worked to deconstruct the rhetoric of empire, the symbolic uses of political power, and the ontological categories of race, gender, and sexuality as they relate to various kinds of spectacle. In pre-modern and early-modern contexts, scholars have nuanced our understanding of spectacles by viewing them in conjunction with other concepts—such as the carnivalesque—that interrogate the structure and negotiation of power within social relationships.

The 29th Annual AHVA Graduate Symposium and Exhibition, held on the Vancouver campus of the University of British Columbia, includes a two day symposium on January 29th and 30th, concurrent with a two week exhibition scheduled from January 29th to February 11th, 2010. The AHVA Graduate Symposium and Exhibition Committee invites proposals for papers, presentations, and projects from emerging scholars, including current and recently graduated Masters, Doctoral students, Post-Doctoral scholars, and up-and-coming artists. For more information, please visit the symposium and exhibition website at: