2017 History of Art Fall Symposium
This conference explores the powerful and variegated engagement with the social in visual art from the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1848 and the Paris Commune of 1871 to the reshaping of the political landscape by the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. How did producers of pictures and other forms of visual imagery respond to and assist in the construction of an environment configured by the class divisions and conflicts endemic to developed capitalism? Our aim is to examine how this new social landscape was visualized in artistic initiatives that took a variety of forms, from social realism to avant-garde experimentation.
The conference begins on Friday evening with introductory talks on the conference theme. On Saturday presentations by an international panel of distinguished speakers will be complemented by discussion of the broader issues raised by the conference, including the continued relevance of social art history for our contemporary political period and for cultural history more generally.