Eclectic and Inclusive: Inside the Association of Art Historians Conference 2017

Art HistoriansThis year the Association of Art Historians Annual Conference will focus on inclusivity and diversity in the field of art history. In reaching across different cultures and disciplines, as well as transcending geopolitical divides, the practice of art history is essential to our understanding of the visual and material culture of many diverse places and periods. The 2017 Conference is a celebration of how an expansive spectrum of histories, theories and practices characterise art historical research today.

We are excited that Yale author Ed Krčma will be presenting ‘Mobility, Contingency and Constraint in Robert Rauschenberg’s Solvent Transfer Drawings’. Dr Krčma’s new book exploring Rauschenberg’s series of prints based on Dante’s Inferno is a highlight of the Yale 2017 season and can be found in our new Art Catalogue.

The AAH2017 Annual Conference and Art Book Fair are hosted by Loughborough University, 6–8 April. Yale University Press will be exhibiting across all three days, so stop by our stand for special conference book discounts, or visit our designated AAH17 web page.

Read on for a selection of highlights from the conference programme and take a look inside the new Yale Art Catalogue below.


Ed Krčma is a lecturer in the Department of Art History and World Art Studies at the University of East Anglia. His research focuses on European and American post-war art, with a particular interest in the history and theory of drawing and its relationship to time and embodiment. These interests are distilled in his comprehensive study of Robert Rauschenberg’s series of illustrations after Dante’s Inferno. His first book with Yale University Press, Rauschenberg / Dante: Drawing a Modern Inferno is published in May.

Krčma’s paper ‘Mobility, Contingency and Constraint in Robert Rauschenberg’s Solvent Transfer Drawings’ explores the experimental processes of the artist and how Rauschenberg engages with Dante’s construction of hell through the mediums of transfer and combination. These themes are also explored in great detail in the book, with vivid illustrations throughout, as well as the series XXXIV Drawings for Dante’s Inferno reproduced together in sequence. Krčma’s paper is included in the session Body, Motion, Image: Legacies of chronophotography, which draws on Eadweard Muybridge’s experiments with methods for capturing movement.

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Cantos XXVII – XXX from Rauschenberg / Dante

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Other Sessions

Author of the forthcoming The Art of Brutalism, published by Yale University Press for the Paul Mellon Centre, Ben Highmore is presenting a paper on ‘Post-Brutalist Abstractions and Domestic Space’ as part of the Holding Patterns panel. Exploring the condition of the art object in an emergent politics of the household at the centre of second-wave feminism.

Other sessions of interest are Sculpture in Motion convened by Martina Droth of the Yale Center for British Art and Sarah Victoria Turner from the Paul Mellon Centre. Droth is one of the editors of the forthcoming Things of Beauty Growing: British Studio Pottery, the catalogue that will accompany an exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge later in the year. Droth’s previous books include Sculpture Victorious: Art in an Age of Invention, 1837-1901 and Caro: Close Up, a monograph on one of Britain’s most acclaimed sculptors. Sculpture in Motion at AAH2017 will examine the ways in which sculpture has been put in motion both literally and metaphorically. With a diverse host of academics on the panel, the question of what drives the desire to animate sculpture is sure to be approached in a lively and dynamic session.

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Following on from the centenary of the first Russian Revolution (find out more in our spotlight blog on Soviet and revolutionary art in Russia) we’re intrigued by a panel on European art and its response to revolution after 1968. The session Radical Art in Transition: Counter-culture, protest, resistance and contemporary art in the Balkans since 1968 will draw on visual culture from a range of countries including Yugoslavia and Croatia, promising to paint a vivid picture of the state of revolutionary art in recent history.

Finally, Photography’s History: Does the past matter? is sure to offer an academically rigorous and diverse new perspective on the state of photography today and will include papers presenting the place of photography in a global context, from Turkey to Chile. Look out for Yale photography titles on offer during the book fair.

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