CFP: "Beyond the Art/Craft Divide: Rethinking Ceramics History," 20-23 October 2010, deadline: 20 April 2010

full name / name of organization: 
Bibi Obler / George Washington University
contact email: 

CFP: "Beyond the Art/Craft Divide: Rethinking Ceramics History"
20-23 October 2010
SECAC/MACAA Panel, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA

Ceramics is arguably experiencing a renaissance, both in terms of production and reception. Recent work in clay has received high-profile attention: consider that Grayson Perry won the Turner Prize in 2003; note that Philadelphia's Institute of Contemporary Art, a venue for cutting-edge art, garnered positive reviews for its 2009 "Dirt on Delight." Scholars have begun to reconsider the place of ceramics in art history more broadly: Andrew Perchuk and Glenn Adamson, for example, have examined studio pottery in dialogue with conceptual avant-gardes of the mid-twentieth century. It might seem that studio ceramics is finally poised to rise above its lowly status as craft and gain definitive entrée into the fine-arts world. Yet the question of whether ceramics should be considered craft or art is not one that actually shows any signs of disappearing. Is it time to let this distinction fall away, to leave that question behind in favor of others? Or is it necessary to retain these categories? This session aims to consider what forms the future of ceramics history and criticism should take. Panelists may turn to the distant or recent past, modeling a practice or history without addressing this divide or insisting on its continued relevance.

To submit a paper proposal, please download the form from:

The deadline for submissions is April 20, 2010. Email proposals and/or questions to Bibi Obler, George Washington University, at