Call for Panels: Art Materiality and Representation

We are very pleased to announce the call for panel proposals for the fourth of the RAI’s recent major conferences. As before, it will be jointly organised by the RAI and the BM’s Department for Africa, Oceania and the Americas, and held in the Clore Centre of the British Museum. We are also very pleased to be joined by the Department of Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, where a portion of the break-out rooms for the conference panels will be located in the newly refurbished Paul Webley Wing of Senate House.
The RAI welcomes panel proposals on any of the themes below. However, it would not wish to restrict any potential suggestion, and proposals are welcome on any aspect of the theme, whether theoretical or ethnographic. Proposals from any of the sub-fields of anthropology (social anthropology, biological anthropology, archaeology or linguistics) are welcome, as are those which draw across disciplines. We would particularly welcome proposals from the museum world, especially papers that reconsider the relationship between museums and anthropology today and in the past.
Amongst the possible areas which may be considered are:

  • Recent debates in materiality, representation and relationality.
  • Performance and aesthetics
  • Heritage, transmission and identity
  • Art as ethnographic resource
  • The anthropology of creativity and art
  • The visual perception of art and recent developments in understanding its biological basis
  • Art, craft, technology and the reinvention of tradition in tourist art.
  • The changing relationship between archaeology, excavation, nationalism and identity.
  • Recent developments in the anthropology of art, including ethnographic or anthropological analysis of western and non-western art traditions, whether historical or  contemporary.
  • Art, materiality and material culture
  • The anthropology of art in the archaeological record, including prehistory.
  • The changing place of art in specific geographic locations.
  • Commoditisation of non-western art traditions in the west and the place of anthropology and anthropologists within that process.
  • Curating and curators, and the interface between museums and academic departments historically and today.
  • Cultural property, ownership and representation of ethnographic objects
  • Ethnographic museums and their futures, including the consideration of indigenous museums.
  • Authenticity and the politics of representation
  • Craftsmanship, apprenticeship, and learning to become an artist.
  • The consideration or reconsideration of the contribution of particular scholars in the anthropology of art.

Proposals for panels should be made by 30 June 2017 on the conference web-site, which may be found an indication of the conference fees.
Informal enquiries may be made to    

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