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ARTH 805H: Critical Examination of Artistic Context

Artistic Milieux: Surfacing Survivals: The Status of Nationalisms, Localisms, Objecthood, Ephemerality, and Interdisciplinarity in Current Art Historical Research

EV-3-760, Concordia University

Every scholar has a defining set of theories and texts - les incontournables - corresponding to a moment of revelation, consolidation, or seeing things plain. These frameworks and their literature stick to us: they surface in our work as survivals of our formation, as the scaffolding of our scholarly juvenalia. This seminar is inscribed under the heading of "Critical Examination of Context: Artistic Milieux," the milieu being the art of art history - the creative context of our field. The aim is to identify within our own practices basic theories - the texts that are for us inexhaustible - and to set them against their challengers; the above list of headings is only a sample list of preoccupations. Members of the seminar will be asked to identify and present theoretical constructs and fundamental texts that sustain their research; these will be met with counter-arguments, deconstructions, and supplements brought forward by their colleagues. Basic scholarly discourse, one might say, conducted as a project of team research into the systems of analysis that matter to us individually and collectively. Let us embrace the ideas that haunt us in an atmosphere of scholarly tough love.

The seminar will involve weekly presentations and debates. The final paper (article-length) will be based on the seminar's structure of presentation and discourse, applied to objects or installations of art.

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