‘On Creative Labour’—Session at AAH Annual Conference (Norwich, 9-11 April 2015)

full name / name of organization: 
Association of Art Historians (AAH)
contact email: 
t.reifenstein@mmu.ac.uk

‘On Creative Labour’—Session at AAH Annual Conference (Norwich, 9-11 April 2015)

Conference: Norwich, 9-11 April 2015
CfP deadline: 10 November 2014

AAH2015
41st Annual Conference & Bookfair
Sainsbury Centre for Art (SIFA), University of East Anglia (UEA), Norwich
9 - 11 April 2015

Call for papers for Student Group Session:
On Creative Labour

Any definition of ‘creative labour’ is necessarily impermanent and subject to contestation. Academics utilise it to challenge the doctrine of ‘creativity’ and the ‘creative industries’, while the corporate realm appropriates the term in accord with neo-liberal visions of employees as ‘creative capital’. Transecting work environments as varied as trading floors, hospitals, advertising offices, and art galleries, such debates have begun to inform contemporary understandings of what exactly constitutes artistic practice, as well as interrogate how we construct art history in light of what it means to be a ‘creative’.

This session seeks to critique the concept of creative labour as much as entertain the potential use value of the rhetoric of the creative industries. Thematically, creative labour engages theoretical and political issues, but also provides a viewpoint to interrogate empirical or historical instances of creative practice. As a younger generation of the creative workforce faces the realities of an uncertain future, the exploitation of unpaid internships and the dubious viability of radical art collectives, what future does creative labour offer? How can this concept be used to illuminate art historical practices? Is creative labour necessarily precarious because it opposes the ‘value’ of self-realisation of a named, free individual and the uniform anonymity of work? We are equally interested to examine the past, present and future of the creative labourer and the social and psychological implications of creativity in the workplace. What is the democratic potential of creative labour and does it have political and ecological import?

Session Convenors:
Sophie Frost, University of Aberdeen, r01slf11@abdn.ac.uk
Tilo Reifenstein, Manchester Metropolitan University, t.reifenstein@mmu.ac.uk
(Student Members’ Committee of the AAH)

If you would like to offer a paper, please email both session convenors direct, providing an abstract of a proposed paper of 30 minutes. Your paper abstract should be no more than 250 words, and include your name and institutional affiliation (if any). You should receive an acknowledgement of receipt of your submission within two weeks from the session convenors. Unfortunately no fee is payable to speakers; all speakers must register and pay to attend the conference.

Proposal guidelines and further information can be found at www.aah.org.uk/annual-conference/sessions2015

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