Gender in Art: Production, Collection, Display (AAH Summer Symposium) (8–9 June 2016, Loughborough) (CfP 23 March 2016)

full name / name of organization: 
Association of Art Historians
contact email: 

Association of Art Historians (AAH) Summer Symposium 2016
Gender in art: production, collection, display

Loughborough University
8-9 June 2016

Keynote speaker: Professor Marsha Meskimmon (Loughborough University), more tba.

Call for Papers

The development of critical feminist discourses since the 1960s has elucidated ways in which social, political and economic structures have impacted on the production and display of artwork. Gradually, the construction of gender in collecting, curating, exhibiting and producing art began to be understood as a reflection of wider social and cultural narratives, extending beyond gendered identities of individual artists or curators. In collaboration with Loughborough University, this year's annual two-day AAH Student Summer Symposium will investigate current critical and art-historical approaches that develop theories, methodologies and debates to analyse the making, display and collection of art in light of concepts of gender.

As categorical differentiations between 'sex', as a biological distinction, and 'gender', as a culturally constructed version of masculinity and femininity, prove difficult, any critical debate about them inevitably requires careful engagement with the power relations that attempt to shape it. The same applies for the discourses around the power distribution at work in the making, collecting and exhibiting of art. Whether in the studio, in museums, private collections or domestic spaces, works of art and their curatorial framing remain important sites for the construction of meaning concerning the interactions of the sexes. On the other hand, can such heteronormative ascriptions be understood as leftovers of binary thought patterns unable to account for fluid contemporary understandings of gender? In an attempt to understand and explain gendered identities in art, issues of equality, the domestic life, the 'body', the 'self' and the 'other' may be explored as complex intersections of social, cultural and political landscapes.

We welcome contributions from all periods and contexts that critically engage with notions of gender relations in the production, collection and display of art. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

• Gender roles in the home and domestic art
• Transgender art, exhibitions and collections
• Gender-aware approaches to display and collections of art
• Women artists in the 'public' and 'private' sphere
• Gendered sensibilities in public/institutional settings
• Feminist approaches to collection, curation and exhibition practices

Abstracts of no more than 250 words for 20-minute papers plus a 100-word biography should be submitted as a single Word document to Emma Bourne, Sara Tarter, Sofia Mali and Tilo Reifenstein at by 23 March 2016.

The Summer Symposium is generously supported by the School of the Arts, English and Drama at Loughborough University. It is open to all, however, speakers are required to be AAH members. Details:

The Summer Symposium is a two-day annual conference highlighting post-graduate research. It takes place at a different university each year in early Summer.