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Unstable Strategies V: Writing the History of Art Now

Friday, April 16, and Saturday, April 17, 2004

The Getty Research Institute

Michela de Vito, Eruption of Vesuvius, 15 June 1794
The Getty Research Institute is pleased to announce the fifth in a series of annual dissertation workshops for doctoral candidates working in the history of art and related fields. Candidates are invited to apply to participate in two days of discussion linking their specific research projects to current methodological and theoretical concerns in visual studies.

Students of the history of art confront a discipline that is characterized by debates over the validity of competing methodologies. While traditional questions of attribution, iconography, and connoisseurship may still be significant, there is widespread opinion that in and of themselves they no longer sufficiently aid the overall understanding of works of art and the circumstances of their production and reception. Over the last three decades, social histories of art, identity discourses, and the linguistic turn in the humanities have greatly expanded the available approaches to the encounter with works of art. This theoretical pluralism has engendered ongoing controversies and has placed demands on students to take positions that may limit the scope of their future work.

The unusual format of this workshop— in which participants will present each other's work— will provide advanced doctoral candidates with an opportunity to participate in stimulating, intensive discussions with one another and with professors from various universities. Its goals are to understand how these projects connect to the history of art history and related disciplines, to bring into focus the strategies and methodologies used, and to discuss where these strategies fit within the evolving shape of the field.

Twelve students will be selected to participate with several professional academics from diverse areas of concentration. The Getty Research Institute does not provide travel funds, but accommodations will be provided.

Application materials must be received no later than December 15, 2003. Applicants will be notified of the Research Institute's decision by January 15, 2004.

For additional information, please call (310) 440-7426 or e-mail