Association for Art History Annual Conference, University of Brighton

'A Museum of Language in the Vicinity of Art', Robert Smithson's well-known intervention from 1968, sought to align the contemporary practice of artists' writings with the production of art itself. Such a demarginalization conceived the publication as a site, one that Rosalind Krauss would in turn come to define as an expanded field. This session intends to perform just such an action upon the discipline of art history. Whilst historiography is today a burgeoning mode of enquiry for the subject, the majority of work produced remains fundamentally textual in its focus; the material and visual nature of art history (as a combination of words and images) is all too often overlooked. An expanded field should thus extend beyond simply considering art history's status as language – textual discourse – to incorporate alongside it the physical space of the page, and its role as an object in its own right: as both content and form. Such an operation is all the more important precisely because of the subject's concern with questions of materiality and visuality in relation to the objects of its enquiry. Artists' books and magazines have in recent years proved to be particularly fertile ground for art history; this session seeks similar approaches in relation to the production of art historians' books and magazines. Contributions reflecting the full chronological and geographical breadth of art history (in both print and digital forms) are encouraged, ones which, to expand upon Krauss, aim to present 'an organization of [historiographical] work that is not [merely] dictated by the conditions of a particular [textual] medium'.

Proposed abstracts of 250 words maximum should be sent directly to the session convenor, Samuel Bibby (samuel@forarthistory.org.uk), by no later than Monday 5th November 2018.