Call for Proposals: SMU Art History Graduate Student Assoc. Conference

RASC/a logoSouthern Methodist University
Dallas, TX
April 13 - 14, 2018

Deadline: Jan 31, 2018

RASC/a Art History Graduate Student Conference 2018: Untethered Subjects

Department of Art History, Meadows School of the Arts Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX

“The very process of identification, through which we project ourselves into our cultural identities, has become more open-ended, variable, and problematic.” - Stuart Hall, The Question of Cultural Identity, 1996

Cultural theorist Stuart Hall highlights the multiple ways in which conceptions of identity can impact our understanding of selfhood, society, and culture. He argues that identity, at once fixed and categorized, is now untethered by heuristics. In a global context, it is open-ended. The ability to define one’s identity is challenged by this fluidity. This conference opens dialogue to consider how we can subvert our understanding of identity in the history of art. Larger questions include: What is identity? How is it visualized, negotiated, and contested in art and visual culture? How is it erased, masked, or concealed? How does identity perform in the contexts of gender, class, politics, and ethnicity? How has history attempted to understand identity through categorizations, classifications, or science? Is identity fluid or fixed?

With this topic in mind, the RASC/a Art History Graduate Student Association at Southern Methodist University invites proposals for its 4th Annual Graduate Student Conference to be held on April 13-14, 2018. Abstracts are welcome from all humanities fields and from all historical periods, geographical areas, and methodological perspectives.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Representations of identity
  • Performing the self
  • Self-fashioning
  • Portraiture and self-portraiture
  • The public and private self
  • Dynamics of power and identity
  • Subjectivity and subject-hood
  • Discussions of race, gender, or sexuality
  • Fluid or unstable identities
  • National identities and displacement
  • Experiences of exile and diaspora
  • The Self and the Other
  • Identity in museum exhibitions and gallery spaces

For consideration, please submit a 300-word (maximum) abstract for a 15-minute presentation and a brief CV as PDF attachments to by January 31, 2018. Selected participants will be notified by February 15, 2018. No travel or accommodation funding is available but all meals (including breakfast, lunch, and dinner) will be provided to all conference participants. The conference co-organizers, Kailey Fairchild, Delanie Linden, and Jillianne Laceste, look forward to your submissions.

Please email Jillianne Laceste at with any questions.