Deadline Extended for CFP:(Art)iculations of Proximity and Mobility - UCR Art History Graduate Student Association Virtual Conference

deadline for submissions: 
March 22, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
UCR Art History Graduate Student Association
contact email: 

The University of California, Riverside
May 14 and 15, 2021
Deadline: March 22, 2021

(Art)iculations of Proximity and Mobility
10th Annual Art History Graduate Student Association Virtual Conference, University of California, Riverside

Call for Papers
The University of California, Riverside’s Art History Graduate Student Association is pleased to announce its 10th Annual Conference, (Art)iculations of Proximity and Mobility.

We are honored to host Dr. Cheryl Finley, Associate Professor in the Department of the History of Art at Cornell University, as this year’s keynote speaker.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has separated and grounded people across the globe to varying degrees over time. It has introduced new notions like the “essential worker”—defined by their closeness to the crisis—and “6 feet” as a safe amount of nearness. It has illuminated mobility and immobility as both privilege and inequality—when some, for example, have the means to flee high-risk environments, while others don’t, and some have the option to stay home, while others must continue to move and engage person-to-person for their livelihood.

This year’s conference will focus on timely questions of proximity (understood as nearness in space, time, or relation) and mobility (the ability to move or be moved freely and easily) as both conditions and concepts. In fact, art history as a discipline is impacted by certain ideas of proximity and mobility: from early historians’ belief in “distanced” or “objective” narratives; to the methodology of “close looking”; to the “aura” of the site-specific object; to the importance placed on travel in research. This conference asks: how have “the arts”—defined broadly and including visual and material culture—been shaped by proximity or mobility, and how have they articulated their own vision of closeness and movement as conditions or concepts? What can they tell us about how proximity and mobility have been valued, ignored, related, defined, interrogated, or challenged across time, places, and peoples? Why do these (art)iculations matter? This conference seeks papers that speak to these and related questions, now and throughout history, and encourages submissions from across the disciplines and with an expansive notion of “the arts.”

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Works that literally travel across time and space, or where use of time/space is central or of note.
  • Mobile/rooted artists and art practices.
  • Kinetic art.
  • Works involving mobility in various contexts such as: trade, war, immigration, exile/refugee-hood/enslavement or other forms of forced movement, technology, personal/bodily movement, notions of “home” and “abroad,” disability discourses, etc.
  • Works involving proximity in various contexts such as voyeurism, sexuality/intimacy, confessionalism, credibility, phenomenology, empathy, portraiture, disease and contagion, science/knowledge formation, slow violence (including but not limited to ecological damage),
  • Global and/or racial capitalism and other issues around globalization.
  • Post-colonial studies.
  • Urban planning and architecture.
  • Audience experience of art and/or experiences in museums, galleries and other venues for the presentation of art.
  • Equity (or lack thereof) in accessibility with regards to art collections or other places/resources.
  • Conditions/concepts of proximity and mobility as they inform art historical or other scholarly writing, curatorial practices, collecting/display, or conservation.

We invite abstracts of no more than 300 words for 20-minute paper presentations. Proposals from graduate students in any discipline will be considered, including Art, Art History, Anthropology, Literature, Dance Studies, Ethnic Studies, Global Studies, History, Media and Cultural Studies, Music, Religious Studies, Philosophy, and others. Selected speakers will be invited to share information related to their presentation on the conference website:

Please email an abstract and CV to by Monday, March 22, 2021.

The conference will be held online, via Zoom Webinar, over two days, Friday, May 14 and Saturday, May 15, 2021, from 9am to 1pm PST, and 9am to noon PST, respectively. Please visit our website,, for more information.

The conference is free and open to the public.