44th Annual Cleveland Symposium

The Art History Department at Case Western Reserve University invites graduate students to submit abstracts for its 2018 Annual Symposium Built Environments and Performances of Power. We welcome innovative research papers that engage with the concept of built environments and their performative spaces, both within and without.

Architecture creates narratives, while simultaneously shaping the identities of builders and users. Monumental architecture conveys stability, which allows its patrons to emphasize authority. At the same time, occupants transform spaces through their physical presence and social dynamics. How do we engage with architectural locations and the objects found within them? How do patronage, artistic intent, and pre-existing power structures complicate the ways in which audiences connect with their environments? How does social performance vary within constructed spaces? How can architecture—and the spatial distribution of artifacts within it—complicate ideas of centrality and periphery?

Presentations may explore aspects of this theme across any time period, medium, or geographical region.

Potential topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Social performance and movement within built environments
  • Material spatiality
  • Constructed spaces and ideas of comportment
  • Interactions between loci memoriae, geography, and architecture
  • Space as experienced by architects, engineers, institutions, and audiences
  • Viewership, liminal spaces, or construction of memory within museums
  • Reconstruction of space through (re)moveable objects and their functions
  • Reception within a built environment
  • Theatricality and performance

Current graduate students and recent graduates in art history and related disciplines are invited to submit a 350-word abstract and a CV for consideration to clevelandsymposium@gmail.com by the extended deadline of July 15, 2018. Selected participants will be notified by the end of July. Paper presentations will be 20 minutes in length.

Please direct all questions to Angelica Verduci and Jacob Emmett at clevelandsymposium@gmail.com. The three most successful papers will be awarded prizes.