Navigating the Metamodern

full name / name of organization: 
York University Art History Graduate Student Association

CFP: Navigating the Metamodern
York University
15th Annual Art History Graduate Symposium
March 19-20, 2016

Metamodernism has arisen from the postmodern era. It has often been used to describe the tense negotiations and conflicts occurring around the world. From climate change, to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, to financial precarity that has caused great inequality, "crisis" has become a defining factor of the metamodern generation. In light of these breakdowns, there has been a return towards searching for meaning and for genuine change. This has been exemplified through movements like Occupy, worldwide demonstrations for climate action, Idle No More, the student protests against tuition hikes and austerity, and the Arab Spring.

While postmodernism rejected grand narratives and was driven by pastiche, irony, and deconstruction, metamodernism calls for a return to romanticism, affect, and hope. It reopens the possibility for grand narratives and suggests that irony and sincerity are not mutually exclusive concepts, but can co-exist and even strengthen one another. Metamodernism is not characterized by oppositions or polarities, but rather explores the possibility of oscillating between perspectives, of existing in a liminal state and finding empowerment in that uncertainty. In the arts, this has reintroduced a space for a discussion of the sublime, affect, and materiality alongside theoretical models such as Speculative Realism and Object Oriented Ontologies.

Navigating the Metamodern is a two-day symposium hosted by the Art History Graduate Student Association at York University which seeks, through student and faculty-led workshops, performances, ;panels, and discussions, to explore the metamodern as it relates to art, spatial politics, and visual culture.

Topics can include, though are not limited to:
-Emerging theories, such as Speculative Realism and Object Oriented Ontologies
-Alternative/forgotten/multiple modernities
-The sublime in contemporary art
-Affect theory
-Performative Spectatorship
-Art created in times of crisis
-Local/global movements for change (ie: Occupy Museums)
-Collectives & Collectivity
-Socially-engaged art

For papers, please submit a 250-word abstract along with a brief (max 200 words) biography and your institutional affiliation. For workshops, please submit a 250-word description of the workshop topic and a suggested list of participants.

Please send your submissions as a PDF to by December 20th, 2015