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Art and Architecture in the Long Eighteenth Century: HECAA at 25

ARHS Conference
Francisca Efigenia Meléndez y Durazzo, Portrait of a Girl, c. 1795, tempera on ivory, 5 x 5 cm, Meadows Museum, SMU

November 1 - 4, 2018
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas

The SMU Art History Department, its graduate program in the Rhetorics of Art, Space, and Culture (RASC/a), and the Meadows School of the Arts are proud to announce the program for Art and Architecture in the Long Eighteenth Century: HECAA at 25, an international conference in celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the founding of the Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture. HECAA at 25 will present recent research on eighteenth-century visual culture, consider questions of historiography and pedagogy, and chart paths for the future of the field.

Preliminary Program

Keynote Speakers

Melissa Hyde, University of Florida

Daniela Bleichmar, University of Southern California

Local Organizing Committee

Elizabeth Bacon Eager, Southern Methodist University; Denise Baxter, University of North Texas; Kelly Donahue-Wallace, University of North Texas; Lindsay Dunn, Texas Christian University; Amy Freund, Southern Methodist University; Jessica Fripp, Texas Christian University; Nicole Myers, Dallas Museum of Art

Questions about the conference? Contact us at


The History of Studying Eighteenth-Century Art, the Belgium of Art History

Chair: Michael Yonan, University of Missouri,

With Barbara Maria Stafford’s now famous 1988 phrase to guide us, this roundtable seeks to discuss eighteenth-century art history’s historiography. The subject was an infrequently studied one in North America prior to the 1970s, and even into the 1990s its community of adherents was remarkably small, very much in contrast to its current prominence. How has this unusual history shaped the discourse of eighteenth-century art, and what are the challenges it creates for our future?

Please send a CV and a 300-word proposal for a brief presentation (5-10 minutes) intended to spur further conversation to Michael Yonan at the address above.

Engaging Twenty-First-Century Publics: Innovations in Teaching, Advising, Exhibiting, and Curating

Chair: Amelia Rauser, Franklin and Marshall College,

In these times it is more important than ever to make the case for art, and for understanding the cultural productions of our own and other cultures. What new approaches to pedagogy or museology are you using to engage students or broader publics in the aesthetics and ideas of eighteenth-century art and architecture? What projects, ideas, and initiatives are the most promising for sustaining and renewing the understanding of our period among a twenty-first-century public?

Please send a CV and a 300-word proposal for a brief presentation (5-10 minutes) intended to spur further conversation to Amelia Rauser at the address above.

The Future of Studying Eighteenth-Century Art: HECAA at 50?

Chair: Amy Freund, Southern Methodist University,

Where will – or should – our field go next? Or, conversely, what should we avoid or abandon? This roundtable will examine the current state of eighteenth-century art history and foster debate about new modes of inquiry. Propositions, critiques, utopian projects welcome from scholars at all career stages.

Please send a CV and a 300-word proposal for a brief presentation (5-10 minutes) intended to spur further conversation to Amy Freund at the address above.

How to Art History

Chair: Elizabeth Bacon Eager, Southern Methodist University,

Share your professional experience polishing job applications, publishing, teaching, administrating, and maintaining life-work balance as part of a roundtable aimed at early-career scholars.

Please send a CV and a short (100 words or less) statement of interest to Elizabeth Bacon Eager at the address above.


Breakout Session Facilitators

Chair: Jessica Fripp, Texas Christian University,

We are seeking scholars at all career stages to facilitate breakout sessions discussing the keynote addresses and the conference proceedings more generally. We anticipate appointing approximately 20 facilitators to lead groups of 10-15 people; facilitators will formulate initial questions and guide discussion.

Please send a CV and a short (100 words or less) statement of interest to Jessica Fripp at the address above.

Research Panels

Research by Emerging Scholars

Chair: Christopher Johns, Vanderbilt University, christopher.johns@Vanderbilt.Edu

This session will showcase short (10 minute) presentations of outstanding research by early-career scholars – graduate students and recent PhDs in non-tenure-stream positions.

Please send a CV and a 300-word proposal to Christopher Johns at the address above.

Things Change

Chairs: Wendy Bellion, University of Delaware,; and Kristel Smentek, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,

Objects seldom survive in their original states. Broken and restored, lost and found, reused and displaced, material things transcend their earliest uses, sites, and appearances. We invite proposals for papers that explore reinvention, relocation, and related issues in eighteenth-century decorative arts and material culture.

Please send a CV and a 300-word proposal to both chairs at the addresses above.

People, Places, and Things in the Global Eighteenth Century

Chair: Nancy Um, Binghamton University,

Increasingly broad in its definition, the “global eighteenth century” is often used to point to the widened geographic scope of the field, particularly in instances of visual exchange that push past perceived cultural boundaries or hinge upon the movement of artists, art objects, and visual practices across extended distances. This panel aspires to a more rigorous notion of the global eighteenth century: one that questions stable and enduring associations between people, places, and things; examines interactions, movements, and exchanges that are multi-sited rather than binary; and/or takes into account the structures and institutions that facilitated, but also encumbered, eighteenth-century travel, trade, and exchange.

Please submit a proposal using this form:

Art and Political Authority in the Long Eighteenth Century

Chairs: Meredith Martin, New York University,; and Aaron Wile, University of Southern California,

The transition from the seventeenth to the eighteenth century is often seen as marking a crucial transformation in the relation between art and political authority in Europe and around the globe. During the seventeenth century, absolute rulers pressed art into the service of the state, using painting, sculpture, architecture, and spectacle to reinforce their power and instill obedience in their subjects. But the emergence of new political and cultural regimes in the next century, along with new publics, institutions, markets, and aesthetic discourses, put the alliance between art and statecraft under strain. This panel seeks both to enrich and complicate this familiar story. How did art function as a political agent during the long eighteenth century? How did rulers use visual media as a tool of government, and what were the limits to that approach? How was art used to undermine or resist authority?

Please send a CV and a 300-word proposal to both chairs at the addresses above.

Apprehending the Spatial: Methods and Approaches

Chair: Christopher Drew Armstrong, University of Pittsburgh,

The panel invites scholars to present scholarly projects (research or teaching) that are fundamentally spatial in character (such as architecture and urbanism, travel and collecting). We particularly encourage proposals that integrate digital applications or computer methods into the study of eighteenth-century culture, or that otherwise extend or challenge established scholarship and conventional approaches to instruction (undergraduate or graduate levels). How do new methods and areas of inquiry reveal knowledge, provide insights, or open paths of inquiry?

Please send a CV and a 300-word proposal to Christopher Drew Armstrong at the address above.

Carte Blanche

Chair: Denise Baxter, University of North Texas,

Your work doesn’t fit the categories above? This panel will present research on any topic in the visual arts in the long eighteenth century. Surprise us.

Please send a CV and a 300-word proposal to Denise Baxter at the address above.

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