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Cognitive Art Histories | Call for Papers

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A workshop on ‘cognitive art histories’ will take place at the Department of Art History, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic on Tuesday, May 28, 2024.

Confirmed speaker: Prof. Whitney Davis (UC Berkeley)

The workshop aims to bring together scholars interested in studying histories of art through the lens of mental processes involved in creating and apprehending artefacts. The term “cognitive art histories” is supposed to cover a range of approaches:

– Cognitive hypotheses of the structure of beholding art under varying cultural circumstances;
– Reconstructions of historical modes of apprehending art objects and their relation to perceptual analysis;
– Reflections on art historians’ efforts at tracing expressions of past attitudes in art objects;
– Analyses of art objects’ effects beyond their original contexts;
– Enquiries into how art-historical knowledge influences encounters with art;
– Accounts of indigenous “ethno-art-histories”, i.e., local ways of understanding the historicity of artistic traditions.

The organisers encourage contributions that bring art history into dialogue with philosophical and psychological accounts of the human mind. These may include (but are not limited to) historiographical or methodological studies of the role psychological or cognitive approaches have played in art history (or the adjacent fields of archaeology and anthropology); philosophical reflections on the status of art-historical knowledge; or case studies drawing on insights from the cognitive sciences.

The submission deadline is March 24, 2024. Please send your abstracts (max. 300 words) to <cognitivearthistories@gmail.com>. Applicants will be informed of the decision regarding their proposal by the end of March.

A limited number of travel grants may be available.

Dr Ancuta Mortu and Dr Jakub Stejskal
MASH Junior Research Group ‘Remote Access: Understanding Art from the Distant Past’
Department of Art History, Masaryk University, Brno