The conference is an online event aimed at mapping the range of decolonial approaches to museum collections and practices in East-Central Europe.

In recent years, the debate over ‘decolonization’ has reinvigorated the museum and heritage sector globally, with a range of intensities and agendas. International organizations are being called on to reshape cultural institutions, to reorganize knowledge production and recognize its diverse forms, to share power and authority, to account for multiple perspectives, and to confront historical injustice in museum cultures, practices, structures, narratives, and collections.

Post- and decolonial approaches already have a strong foothold in post-socialist Eastern European scholarship and public discourse with regard to the legacies of Russian/Soviet, German/Nazi, Habsburg, Polish, and Ottoman imperialisms. But in practice, the impact of decolonial critique has been limited to temporary interventions rather than more sustainable heritage methods and strategies.

CRITICAL DIGITAL ART HISTORY: INTERFACE AND DATA POLITICS IN EXHIBITION, MUSEUM AND COLLECTIONS

AAH Annual Conference, 14 -17 April, 2021 (online event)

Session organizers:  

Anna Dahlgren, Department of Culture and Aesthetics, Stockholm University, anna.dahlgren@arthistory.su.se                 

Amanda Wasielewski, Department of Culture and Aesthetics, Stockholm University, amanda.wasielewski@arthistory.su.se

The discipline of art history has long embraced the digitisation of artworks and scholarly resources, but there has also been increased interest in recent years in adopting computational methods. Scholarly activity in this area is commonly labelled ‘digital art history’ and often focuses on practical issues that impact the tasks of collection managers, information specialists and others closely allied with institutions that collect, preserve and govern art-historical collections. This focus on practical concerns means that critical engagement with what digital technology and computational methods imply for art history is often unaddressed. Little attention has thus far been paid to the theoretical and political aspects of mass digitisation in art history and the use of digital tools in museums and collections.

In this session, we seek to theorise and critically analyse the implications of digitisation for our discipline. We particularly invite papers that address these issues from a general, theoretical and critical perspective. This might entail cultural and ideological effects of digital access or the lack thereof, philosophical and theoretical reflections on the epistemologies of digital tools, critical perspectives on digital interfaces for art-historical artefacts, or examinations of specific digital tools and their art-historical contexts. This may also encompass reflections on exhibition practices and notions of art’s audiences in relation to digital interfaces. Moreover, this could include contributions that critically examine visualisation practices in art history and other historiographic accounts of the field in relation to digitisation.

Deadline for abstracts submission 2 November, 2020.