The International Consortium on Art History

11th International Springtime Academie

Norwich, may 20 - 24, 2013

⇒ Communications (PDF)
⇒ Program (PDF)


The 11th École de Printemps, organised by the International Consortium on Art History, will take place in Norwich (University of East Anglia) from May 20-24, 2013, on the theme of World Art. The École is open to doctoral and postdoctoral students of diverse perspectives and specialisations to share their research, their approaches, and their experiences alongside and in collaboration with advanced researchers. Programmes of preceding Écoles de Printemps can be seen on this website. Participation in the Écoles constitutes one of the requirements for the diploma in the international training in the history of art. Candidates – doctoral and postdoctoral – are encouraged to submit a proposal relating to their subject of research, historical period, terrain of study, and modes of expression that they wish to take up.

The turn to transnational histories and cross-cultural studies has shifted the focus from national histories toward exchanges and encounters, thereby challenging conventional categories and modes of art historical analysis, such as style, periodization, and area studies. Postcolonial theory, for example, has been crucial for how we understand and explain the conflicted histories of colonization and imperialism. Hybridity, mimicry, negotiation, Orientalism, alterity, “the middle ground,” and more recently “global conceptual” are only a handful of terms that have redefined the terrain of an increasingly globalized art history. These critical frameworks have often productively engaged with other approaches, such as feminism and social history, and also opened up new questions in the study of art from antiquity to today. Reorientations by art historians, spurred on in part by globalisation, have emerged from and also fuelled debates on topics – sometimes controversial ones – from “primitivism” to the protection of world art. So too has the force of a globalized art history come to reveal limitations, both from its ambitiousness, and by passing over forms and practices of art that warrant consideration from different perspectives.

In this context the theme “World art” is used to prompt exploration and debate. The term is not intended to describe a single intellectual perspective that is widely endorsed. World art is not the same type of category as “world music”, for instance; it is not a style, nor a movement, genre, or type of art. Nor is it exclusively contemporary or modern, although it is often understood as a present-day phenomenon or as the consequence of the economic and social modernisation of cultures beyond those of the west. We use “world art” instead to respond to the perception that the longstanding division of the study of art between archaeologists, anthropologists and art historians has made it difficult to see art as a unified field of study, shrinking the intellectual outlook of art history in uncomfortable and culturally exclusive ways. By the theme of “world art,” then, we encourage discussion, interventions, methodological and theoretical reflections, and curiosity about visual imagery and artefacts considered within an expanded historical and geographical framework.

It is in this exploratory and investigative sense that the 11th international École de Printemps wishes to use the term. Proposals from students engaged in research into any topics relevant to this extended sense of world art studies are welcome. Papers from those working on ancient, medieval and early modern topics are encouraged, as well as from those engaged with modern and contemporary subjects. We will be interested to receive proposals that deal with research questions of any kind, but which reflect on or consider some of the intellectual issues outlined above. How do individual research topics connect with a sense of a globalised or world art context? What are the implications for a broader sense of art as an expanded subject that arise from individual research into topics in the western tradition? What are the possibilities inherent in the proposition that we may study and envisage a “world art”? What does such a concept imply, not only for the “Eurocentrism” of the western tradition, but also for the study of the making of art and objects globally? What does world art mean in relation to globalisation and vice versa? What are the possibilities for comparative study, and for the study of objects and artefacts that have not hitherto been much regarded within art history? These questions are not exhaustive, but they are intended to signal the general tenor of the issues the École wishes to raise and explore. The École will enable doctoral and postdoctoral students from art history and cognate disciplines to come together and share approaches and materials, and to confront and debate the implications of the globalisation of art history for the discipline and for individual researches. Proposals that seek to link individual research topics will be welcomed, as will those that reflect on the connections with topics in world art, or which raise implications for the main intellectual issues it involves.


1) Visual/cultural encounters
• The magic in the exotic
• Histories of vision
• Seeing across cultures
• Depicting others
• Migrations of art history and art historians

2) Concepts
• The ‘fetish’: the career of a concept
• The ‘primitive’: its invention and its demise
• Regimes of exoticism: Chinoiserie, Orientalism, Japonisme, “Negerkunst”
• ‘World Art’: its emergence and its future

3) Institutional frameworks
• What is the use of a universal museum?
• Are ethnographic or anthropological museums an anachronism?
• Art History institutions in global context.
• Anthropology and ethnology: from the Musée de l'homme to the Musée du
quai Branly or from the Museum of Mankind to the British Museum
• Disciplinarity, interdisciplinarity and world art

4) Media and art production
• Media and technology
• Transmediality/intermediality


The call for papers will appear online on the website of the Réseau (, the Sainsbury Institute for Art (SIfA) ( the INHA ( as well as the other institutions of the members of the Réseau. Postgraduate students – MA, PhD and Postdoctoral – who would like to participate are asked to submit a proposal for a paper of no more than 20 minutes length, together with a short CV that includes foreign language abilities. Proposals should be no more than 1800 characters or 300 words in length and can be written in English, French, German, or Italian. They should be submitted in a Word document, and should include the name of the applicant, mailing address (electronic and postal), the institution and the country where the applicant is registered, and the session for which the proposal is most well suited.

The proposal and the CV should be attached as a single document to an email and identified in the subject heading by the applicant’s name and country in which the applicant is registered. Emails should be sent to: no later than Monday 25 February 2013.

The proposals will be selected by the countries in the Réseau. The national correspondents will send the list of the selected proposals, by mail, to the organizing committee during the first week of March 2013. The organizing committee, after consulting the Réseau board, will establish the École de Printemps program. The announcement of the selection of participants for the Ecole will be made mid-March on the sites of the Réseau, SIfA, Inha, and on the sites of the institutions of the Réseau.

Successful applicants will be asked to submit an abstract of no more than 300 words, and to provide a translation of it into one of the other official languages of the Réseau. The abstract and the translation must be submitted as a word document, with a powerpoint for the presentation, by May 7 to:

Since participants present papers in their own language, knowledge of other languages is indispensable. Participants from Latin countries should have some command of either English or German; English or German speakers should have some command of either French or Italian.

Students who have participated two times or more in previous Écoles are invited to serve as respondents instead of presenting a paper. In this way doctoral and postdoctoral students whose research is well-advanced are encouraged to participate in the Écoles by initiating discussion at the end of each session. Respondents will provide a critical assessment of the session, raising problems and questions either opened up or left aside by the speakers. Respondents may also pose new questions in order to pursue the debate in directions suggested by their own research.

Candidates applying to serve as respondents should apply following the same directions noted above, including a short cv. However, instead of a proposal for a paper, they should submit a short text explaining their motivation and specific expertise.

Each year the professors of the Réseau are able to propose a paper that will provide a frame for one of the sessions. Teachers wishing to intervene in the program are asked to contact the organisers with their intentions by email before March 1, 2013 at:

Comité d’organisation / Organizing committee:
David Peters Corbett and Bronwen Wilson
Sainsbury Institute for Art, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK

Organized by:
Réseau International de la Formation à la Recherche en Histoire de l’Art /
The International Consortium of Art History (

Executive committee/Bureau:
Président / President: Michael F. Zimmermann, Eichstätt and Munich
Présidents Honoraires / Honorary Presidents: Ségolène Le Men, Paris;
Henri Zerner, Boston MA and Paris Vice-Présidents / Vice-presidents: Todd Porterfield, Montréal; Maria Grazia Messina, Florence and Rome Membres du Bureau / Committee: Jan Blanc, Geneva; Nadeije Laneyrie-Dagen, Paris; Thomas Kirchner, Frankfurt am Main; Johanne Lamoureux, Montréal

Correspondants nationaux / national correspondents – for Canada: Johanne
Lamoureux and Todd Porterfield (Université de Montréal); for France: Frédérique Desbuissons (INHA), Béatrice Joyeux-Prunel (ENS), Claire Barbillon and Ségolène Le Men (Université Paris Ouest); for Germany: Thomas Kirchner (Frankfurt am Main, Goethe-Universität) and Michael F.
Zimmermann (Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt); for Great Britain: David Peters-Corbett and Bronwen Wilson (Norwich, University of East Anglia) and Richard Thomson (The University of Edinburgh); for Italy: Marco Collareta (Università di Pisa), and Maria Grazia Messina (Università degli studi di Firenze); for Switzerland: Jan Blanc (Université de Genève) and Christian Michel (Université de Lausanne); for the United States, Henri Zerner (Harvard University); for Japan, Atsushi Miura (The University of Tokyo)