Call for Papers: Art & Experience in Early Modern Europe

The Courtauld Institute of Art will hold a one day conference on the theme of ‘Everyday Objects: Art and Experience in Early Modern Europe’ on 21 November 2009.

The everyday object offers an intimate understanding of lived experience in early modern Europe. Historically and culturally specific, the ‘everyday’ is contingent on the activities, rituals and habits of individuals, what they did in their daily lives and how they experienced the world around them.

Through a focus on the everyday object, this one-day symposium explores both the experience of visual culture in everyday life and the phenomenon of the everyday in visual culture. Drawing on theories of the everyday from such fields as anthropology, phenomenology and sociology, papers will examine the often overlooked ‘things’ that formed the culture of daily life, asking: what constitutes an everyday object? How were everyday objects experienced, represented or collected? And how does their study enhance our understanding of the cultural history of early modernity?

The Courtauld invites proposals for papers that explore the theme of the everyday object in all forms of visual and material culture from the early modern period (c.1580-1850) including painting, sculpture, architecture, decorative arts, fashion, performance, print media, graphic arts, and the intersections between them.

Topics for discussion may include, but are not limited to:
* Images of the everyday (still life, genre scenes, etc.)
* Ephemeral objects, temporary art or displays
* Things and thing theory
* Quotidian experience as a mode of beholding – how were art objects ‘lived’ in everyday experience?
* Spaces and activities of everyday life
* Art works as everyday objects / everyday objects as art works

Please send proposals of no more than 250 words by 8 May 2009 to Edward Payne and Hannah Williams.