"Historicizing Globalization" - College Art Association - February 2010, Chicago

full name / name of organization: 
Kirsty Robertson and Erin Morton
contact email: 

Please circulate widely.

Call for Papers

College Art Association
98th Annual Conference
Chicago, Illinois
Wednesday, February 10 -- Saturday, February 13, 2010
Hyatt Regency Chicago

Session: "Historicizing Globalization: Studying the Visual in the Age of Three Worlds"

Historian Michael Denning has recently reflected on the cultural turn that so marked intellectual thinking during "the age of three worlds" (1945-1989), when the globe was imagined to be divided into three between the capitalist First World, the communist Second World, and the decolonizing Third World. Following Denning, we suggest that the conditions of globalization might be understood as part of this historical transition. This session therefore asks: what does it mean to study the visual in, around, and beyond the age of three worlds—between the age when culture was more or less understood in relation to national/ist projects and the moment ideas about "international" cultural exchanges shifted toward theorizing culture in terms of its global circulation? Papers may address any aspect of globalization as a historical process in relation to the study of the visual, including but not limited to:

* The shift from Adorno's critique of the modern "culture industry" in the first half of the twentieth century towards global understandings of the so-called "creative industries" under the economic conditions of late capitalism.
* The legacies of nineteenth-century national/ist art historical frameworks when it comes to studying the visual under the historical conditions of modernity and globalization.
* The impact of disciplinary cultural studies and the cultural turn in the second half of the twentieth century on the development of visual studies and the visual turn in the first decade of the twenty-first.
* The role of culture in the transition from an industrial, production-based economy to the post-industrial, service-based "new economy" fostered by neoliberal globalization.
* The importance of vision and visuality to historical studies of globalization and resistance, particularly in relation to the so-called "anti-globalization" (or, more accurately, alter-globalization) movement.
* The perception of culture as an underlying explanation and resource for fostering global development, social justice, and democracy, especially as it relates to the experienced historical realities of people living under the processes of colonization and decolonization.

Abstracts for 20-minute presentations should be sent by Friday, May 8, 2009 to:

Erin Morton (Queen's University)


Kirsty Robertson (University of Western Ontario)