The Society of Fellows at the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies announces a seminal conference:

SYMPOSIUM: Illustration and its Histories:
New Resources, New Voices, New Directions

Organized in collaboration with Professor Michael Lobel, Hunter College and the Graduate Center, CUNY

Conference Description and Call for Graduate Student Papers

Conference Location and Date:
Hunter College, CUNY
695 Park Ave., New York, NY
Friday, March 27, 2020
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a Reception to Follow

Organized by the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies at the Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and the Department of Art and Art History at Hunter College, New York City, this one-day interdisciplinary symposium brings together scholars, curators, and artists who are working to explore new approaches to the study of illustration within historical and contemporary frameworks.

As a set of practices and a cultural force, illustration emerged in the 19th century as a new and distinctly modern phenomenon. A vital component of the visual languages of advertising, design, publishing, and entertainment, illustration is omnipresent in modern culture, yet its historical, contextual, and theoretical specifics have remained relatively unexamined. This symposium aims to bring together scholars, researchers, and practitioners across multiple fields who are interested in the history, practice, and subjects of illustration, and who would like to contribute to the emerging field of illustration studies. It is meant to build on and amplify the important work done at a multi-day symposium on illustration at Washington University in St. Louis in the spring of 2019, also sponsored by the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies.

Call for Graduate Student Papers

In addition to panels featuring established scholars and curators, the symposium will include a special graduate student session featuring short (7-minute) “lightning” presentations. Graduate students are encouraged to apply to deliver papers on a wide range of illustration-based themes, including but not limited to:

  • The ways in which technological innovations shaped the practice and look of illustration
  • How illustration informed modes of viewing in the mass media
  • Illustration and its relationship to ideas about class, race, gender, ethnicity, and national identity
  • Illustrators and cultural agency
  • The roles that women and artists of color have played in shaping the field of illustration
  • Illustration understood within a transnational or international framework
  • The labor, practice, and economics of illustration
  • The contemporary popularity and influence of illustration

How to Apply:

Please email proposals for 7-minute papers, together with a two-page CV and a short biographical statement (100 words) by (Date) to Jana Purdy, Norman Rockwell Museum, at: jpurdy@nrm.org  For questions, please email Stephanie Plunkett, Deputy Director/Chief Curator, Norman Rockwell Museum, at: splunkett@nrm.org.

Proposals should include:
Name, mailing address, contact number(s), email, institutional affiliation, title of paper, and an abstract—maximum 200 words—of your proposed paper.

Applicants will be contacted by (Date) regarding acceptance of their proposal.

LOCATION: Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri
DATE: March 21-23, 2019

Read more about last year’s symposium…