Critical theory has taught us to consider “reality” as something suspicious, i.e. as something that is accessible only through language, discourse and representation. More recently, however, philosophy—let us think here of the work of Jacques Rancière, Bruno Latour and the theoreticians of “new materialism”—has proposed to redefine that notion. It has highlighted visible/invisible, human/nonhuman and material/immaterial intercrossings to define reality as the mediating process by which things and sensibilities are made visible and material. These processes are at the forefront of a significant segment of artistic practices today. This session proposes to reflect on the ways in which these new approaches of reality renew our understanding of contemporary art. We invite proposals addressing the following questions: What are the aesthetic strategies mobilizing reality today? If we accept Rancière’s idea that “there is no real in itself, but only configurations of what is given as real” (2008: 84), what are the potentialities of critical art?

Session co-chairs : Maryse Ouellet, PhD candidate at McGill University: maryse.ouellet [at] mail.mcgill.ca Dr. Christine Ross, Professor at McGill University: christine.ross [at] mcgill.ca

Please send abstracts no longer than 150 words including keywords and a brief curriculum vitae (300-word maximum) that specifies your rank and institutional affiliation (if applicable) to Maryse Ouellet by 18 June 2014.

Please note that proposals for papers may be submitted by current members OR non-members of UAAC. However non-members must become members of UAAC in order to present a paper at the conference, and all members must renew their memberships in UAAC/AAUC by 1 September 2014.


Si la théorie critique nous a appris à considérer comme suspecte l'idée de « réalité », les philosophes Jacques Rancière et Bruno Latour, ainsi que les théoriciens du nouveau matérialisme proposent aujourd'hui de redéfinir celle-ci. En mettant de l'avant l'entrecroisement entre le visible et l’invisible, l’humain et le non-humain ou la matérialité et l’immatérialité, ils situent la réalité du côté des processus consistant à rendre visible, à médier ou à objectifier. Ces processus sont également mis en pratique par l’œuvre d’art. Cette séance propose de réfléchir sur la manière dont ces nouvelles approches de la réalité contribuent à renouveler notre compréhension de l'art actuel. Nous invitons les réflexions concernant les enjeux suivants : Par quelles stratégies l'art d'aujourd'hui compose ou mobilise-t-il la réalité? Si l'on accepte l'idée de Rancière selon laquelle « il n'y a pas de réel en soi, mais des configurations de ce qui est donné comme notre réel » (2008 : 84), quelles potentialités s'offrent désormais à l'art critique?

Présidentes de séance: Maryse Ouellet, Candidate au doctorat à l'Université McGill: maryse.ouellet [at] mail.mcgill.ca Dr. Christine Ross, Professeur à l'Université McGill: christine.ross [at] mcgill.ca

Les propositions de 150 mots maximum doivent être adressée à Maryse Ouellet d'ici le 18 juin 2014. Veuillez inclure le nom de l’intervenant et une adresse courriel valide, un titre pour l’intervention, des mots-clés et un aperçu du curriculum vitae (moins de 300 mots) qui précise le niveau d’études et l’institution d’attache (le cas échéant).

Veuillez noter que les membres comme les non-membres de l’AAUC peuvent proposer une intervention. Cependant, ceux qui ne sont pas membres doivent néanmoins le devenir avant d’intervenir au congrès, et tous les membres doivent renouveler leur adhésion à l’AAUC avant le 1er septembre 2014.


The connection between photography and empathy seems axiomatic. It is often through making and viewing photographs that we come to believe that we understand and even share the emotions and experiences of others. This panel seeks to investigate the complex, affective relationship between empathy and photography by approaching photography as something created by a wide network of relationships extending beyond that of just photographer and subject. — How do photographs create and use empathy? Or, how are they created and used by empathy? To what ends? — What is the relationship between empathy and aesthetics in photography? — In what ways does the circulation of photographs exacerbate or intensify empathy? How do empathic responses differ in different communities or spaces?

Documentary photographs immediately come to mind in relation to empathy, but we are interested in photographs that we encounter in all kinds of spaces: the gallery, the Internet, billboards, magazines, coffee table books.

Please submit a proposal to the session chairs that includes: name of individual submitting the paper and their email contact, paper title; abstract (150-word maximum); keywords; and a brief curriculum vitae (300-word maximum) that specifies their rank and institutional affiliation (if applicable).

Session Chair: Dr. Sarah Parsons; Dr. Linda Steer Affiliation: York University; Brock University Email address: sparsons [at] yorku.ca;lsteer [at] brocku.ca

——— [3]. Things: Their Lives, Agency, and Meanings

Recent theoretical approaches such as thing theory, new materialism, and visual/material culture studies have allowed us to enrich and sometimes revise our understanding of the meanings of objects by profoundly reshaping the ways in which we look and think about them. This panel seeks to delve into the agency of things and to inquire into the lives of objects in order to uncover how their making, history, consumption, use, movement, restoration, or change of locale can impact their meanings. Whether focusing on works of fine, decorative, or industrial art, we invite researchers to ask questions such as (but not limited to): how have our attitudes towards things changed over time? how do things give new meaning to their surroundings? how do things participate in matters of sociability? what relationships can we trace between things and the paintings or prints in which they are represented?

Please submit your 150-word proposal to Ersy Contogouris (ersy.contogouris [at] gmail.com) and Marie-Ève Marchand (marie-eve.marchand.2 [at] umontreal.ca) along with a short (300 words maximum) bio-bibliographical paragraph that specifies rank and institutional affiliation (if applicable).

This is a bilingual conference, papers are welcome in either French or English.

Reference: CFP: 3 sessions at UAAC/AAUC (Toronto, 23-26 Oct 14). In: H-ArtHist, Jun 12, 2014 (accessed Jun 13, 2014), <http://arthist.net/archive/7995>.