cfp graduate symposium: Reminiscing / Reinventing

Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism Graduate Symposium
37 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL 60603
Friday, October 26, 2018


School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism invites graduate students and artists to submit proposals for 15-20-minute presentations for consideration for its graduate symposium, “Reminiscing/Reinventing”.

Keynote Speaker: Katharina Niemeyer, Professor of Media Theory at the Media School (École des médias) Faculty of communication, University of Québec in Montréal (UQAM).

This symposium coincides with the exhibition, Recipes for Madeleines, at SAIC’s SITE Gallery. The exhibition brings together artists of various disciplines whose works critically engage the relationship between nostalgia and media. Although nostalgia as a psychological, social and political phenomenon has existed for centuries, the current emergence of nostalgic aesthetics starts to constitute nostalgia as a contemporary condition, a side-effect of technological advancement and political uneasiness.

This symposium therefore serves as an occasion to open up a discussion around our contemporary experiences of remembering, the aesthetics of which is heavily mediated by the technological apparatus that record and manifest the past. Russian media artist and novelist Svetlana Boym sees nostalgia as a kind of “defense mechanism in a time of accelerated rhythms of life and historical upheavals,” a process of working through and coping with the irreconcilable ideal and reality. We hope to use the opportunity of this symposium to reflect upon the role of media not only as platforms for re-imagining the past, but also as ways of working through history for the present.

Possible Topics Include:

  • Media and nostalgia
  • The philosophy of memory and remembrance
  • Restorative and reflective nostalgias in mediated experiences
  • Analog vs. digital
  • Archives and (re)collections
  • Media archeology
  • Television, live news, and broadcast
  • Emerging and obsolete technologies
  • Retro gameplay (e.g. video game console emulator)
  • The sense of loss due to displacement, diaspora, and immigration
  • The revival of vintage aesthetics and styles (in visual cultures,
  • fashion, and music)
  • Performance and its documentation and reenactment
  • Palimpsest, layers, etc.
  • Conservation vs. restoration
  • Preservation of time-based and web-based art

We seek proposals for traditional academic papers, performance lectures, or presentations in other experimental formats. Artists whose practices critically engage new and old media are especially encouraged to apply. We welcome proposals from various fields, including media studies, film studies, art history, cultural studies, performance studies, etc. Experimental and interdisciplinary essays will be warmly considered.

Please submit all proposal materials and any questions to by August 15, 2018.

Applicants will be notified by August 31, 2018.

Please include the required proposal materials in a single PDF document:

  1. Full name, contact information, and institutional affiliation
  2. An abstract (or artwork description) of 300 words
  3. A short bio of 250 words
  4. A curriculum vitae

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s