APPEL A CONTRIBUTIONS : Material Culture in Transition – Cambridge, 18-20 Jun 15

LIEU : CRASSH, University of Cambridge, Alison Richard Bldg, 7 West Rd, CB3

DATE : 18 – 20 juin 2015

DEADLINE : 15 mars 2015

Objects in Motion: Material Culture in Transition

Proposals for papers and for visual and performing art are welcome for
the three-day interdisciplinary conference ‘Objects in Motion: Material
Culture in Transition’. The conference is supported by and will be held
at the Centre for the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) at
the University of Cambridge on 18-20 June 2015. The deadline for all
proposals is 15 March 2015, and registration is expected to open in
April 2015 (

‘Objects in Motion’ will bring together diverse scholars, curators,
writers, and artists to discuss material culture in transition.
Material objects are produced within specific contexts – geographical,
cultural, and temporal. This is true for things as diverse as the Great
Sphinx built in Egypt at least 4500 years ago, the Lindisfarne Gospels
illuminated in 8th-century Northumbria, a wooden ceremonial mask carved
in 19th-century Nigeria, or a mobile phone made in 21st-century China.

What happens when objects such as these transition into other contexts?
How are differences in use and meaning negotiated? Sometimes later
reinterpretations and reincarnations (including ‘fakes’ and
reproductions) incorporate elements of the objects’ original use and
meaning, and other times they diverge entirely. This can affect not
only the objects themselves but also the knowledge and experiences
embedded within or produced by them – as with books, musical
recordings, and technologies.

Scholars, curators, writers, and artists from all disciplines are
welcome to propose relevant talks. Visual artists (including
photographers) are also welcome to propose artwork on the theme to be
displayed in the Alison Richard Building. Proposals for performing arts
may be made as well, within the constraints of space and time stated
below. The papers and art, selected by both CFP and invitation, will be
complemented by events at local museums.

These diverse contributions will help to shed light on material culture
dynamics which remain highly relevant even today despite the growth of
multinational corporations, global communication, and increasing
standardisation. They will also foster productive dialogue on different
disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to studying and
responding to these dynamics.

Guidelines for proposing a paper

Proposals for talks should be emailed to the convenor Dr. Alexi Baker
( by 15 March 2015. They should include a title, an
abstract of up to 250 words, a brief biography, contact information,
and any institutional affiliations. Scholars at all stages of their
careers including independent scholars are encouraged to apply, as are
artists and writers who would like offer talks reflecting on the
conference theme.

Guidelines for proposing visual or performing arts

Proposals for visual or performing arts which reflect upon the
conference theme should be emailed to the convenor Dr. Alexi Baker
( by 15 March 2015. The visual artwork will hang in the
ground floor seminar rooms of the Alison Richard Building from the time
of the conference until at least October 2015, and must be fitted to
the available space and hanging facilities.

The artist(s) must be able to transport their works to the Alison
Richard Building themselves and to install them with limited assistance
from staff. Each piece will need to come fitted with string or hooks on
the back so that they can be attached to the hanging rails in the
seminar rooms with nylon string. (The type of rails in use can be seen
here: Small
labels may also be affixed near the artworks using white-tack.

Proposals for performing arts will be considered as well as long as
they can be staged within the limited space of a seminar room, and have
a running time of less than one hour. Possibilities could include for
example recitations, musical performances, or self-contained dramatic
performances. Proposals for visual or performing arts should consist
– Contact information and any institutional affiliations
– Title of the installation or performance
– Description of up to 250 words
– CV and (if available) website of the artist
– Examples of the work of the artist
– Detailed installation or staging requirements

For further information please visit:

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