The Art History of American Periodical Illustration

CALL FOR PAPERS – the call is now closed and we are no longer accepting submissions.

The Association of Historians of American Art will host a Professional Session, at the annual conference of the College Art Association, February 13-16, 2013, in New York City.

This session will address the opportunities and challenges associated with art historical engagement with American illustration. Despite the prominence of periodical illustration as an important professional practice in the 19th century and its wide popular aesthetic influence well into the 20th, illustration has not been made as central to American art historical narratives as its ubiquity might warrant. Why? Do commercial practices always render aesthetic considerations secondary from the start? In what ways might the contingencies of the production of illustrated periodicals create opportunities for integrating aesthetics with social practices, technologies, commerce, and cultures? Some have noted a recent turn to developing the theory, criticism, and historiography of illustration. How can art history provide useful perspectives? Or is art history still too limited in its methodologies? We invite scholars and practitioners engaged in the study of American illustration to submit papers. Subjects should address American illustration after 1750, but otherwise topical considerations will be secondary to theoretical and methodological inquiries. We aim to foster a spirited discussion of illustration studies in research, practical, and teaching contexts.

Please email a 350 word abstract to Jaleen Grove <> and to Douglas Dowd <> by MAY 4, 2012.