CFP: Art and Social Engagement in the Americas (New York, 2017)

2016-12-ifa-logo2016-12-islaa-logoBeyond the Symbolic: Art and Social Engagement in the Americas

IFA-ISLAA Symposium
Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
New York
14-15 April 2017

Deadline: Jan 20, 2017


The Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, and the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art are pleased to announce the second annual IFA–ISLAA symposium for emerging scholars. “Beyond the Symbolic: Art and Social Engagement in the Americas” will be held in New York on April 14–15, 2017. The symposium will include keynote lectures by Coco Fusco and Andrea Giunta.

This symposium interrogates the relevance of merging art and politics in the Americas, especially in works that explicitly seek to resist political oppression, economic imperialism, and legacies of colonialism through public discourse. We aim to address not only contemporary works that marshal “relational aesthetics” at a moment of profound geopolitical crisis, but any intervention that has sought to target the body politic and yield political or social transformation. Less interested in quantifying the efficacy of such works, this symposium hopes to examine larger questions regarding the potential ability of artistic practice to produce concrete results—that is, the compatibility of art and activism. What constitutes success or failure?

Current graduate students, recent graduates, and emerging scholars are invited to apply. Applicants from fields outside the realm of art history are highly encouraged (e.g. Cinema and Media Studies, Performance Studies, Latin American and Latinx studies, Cultural Studies, History). Papers in languages other than English will be taken into consideration.

To apply, please submit an abstract of up to 300 words to by Friday, January 20, 2017. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by Monday, February 13, 2017.

Presentations will be limited to 20 minutes, with additional time for discussion. In your application, please indicate your current institutional affiliation and from where you will be traveling. Limited funding will be available to assist with travel expenses.

This symposium is part of the Latin American Forum. Generously funded by the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA) and coordinated by Professor Edward J. Sullivan, Helen Gould Sheppard Professor in the History of Art, the Forum invites distinguished visiting lecturers to the IFA to foster greater understanding and recognition of Latin American art around the world. The symposium is organized by current IFA PhD candidates Brian Bentley, Madeline Murphy Turner, Sean Nesselrode Moncada, and Blanca Serrano Ortiz de Solórzano, and Juanita Solano Roa.

For further information or with any questions, please contact

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