SHAPING IDENTITIES | CHALLENGING BORDERS Photographic histories in Central and Eastern Europe [Call for Papers]

SHAPING IDENTITIES | CHALLENGING BORDERS Photographic histories in Central and Eastern Europe [Call for Papers]

Place Prague, Institute of Art History, The Czech Academy of Sciences, Husova 4, CZECH REPUBLIC
Organizer Institute of Art History, The Czech Academy of Sciences et al.
More info

Conference date: 9-10 May 2017

Organizer: Institute of Art History, The Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague
in association with Liber pro Arte (Warsaw) and Humboldt University (Berlin)

CFP Deadline – 15 December 2016

Keynote Speakers Zsófia Bán, Tomáš Dvořák, Monika Faber

From its very beginnings photography was understood and used as an influential tool in imagining the self, one’s community and the world. In Central and Eastern Europe, historically an area of many languages, cultural traditions and religious beliefs, but also of shifting borders and changing political systems, this capacity made it an invaluable resource for shaping individual as well as collective identities. Photography in portraiture, family albums, and picture postcards, but also in scientific surveys, literature, or art, to name but a few examples, has spread and challenged here ideas on gender, class, ethnicity and nationality.

Despite the notably growing interest in research into the history and theory of photography from this region in recent years, many of its aspects remain under-researched. Among the most omitted in today’s narrative are cross-border topics, particularly those which in reference to the status given to émigré Josef Koudelka by British border control, could be described as ‘nationally doubtful’ parts of multiethnic Central and East European cultural landscapes. Alongside political persecution during the last two centuries, there were other motivations for the migration of photographers, but also for the transfer of knowledge and technology, or the exchange of ideas and styles across social, ethnic and political borders that often escaped the notice of nationally driven accounts of the history of the medium.

The conference aims at challenging established limits within histories of photography. It asks how local circumstances affected the production, dissemination and reception of photography in the societies of Central and Eastern Europe, and how those interacted with trends and developments from abroad. As a follow-up event to the conference “Discovering ‘Peripheries’: Photographic Histories in Central and Eastern Europe” in Warsaw in 2016, this meeting wishes to build upon the exchange between researchers engaged with the subject from different disciplinary perspectives.

We invite proposals for 20-minute presentations that investigate cross-border topics from all periods of the history, theory and historiography of photography in Central and Eastern Europe. Of special interest is the question of how seemingly ‘similar’ photographic subjects, discursive terms and theoretical concepts have been applied in various (national) contexts, but with possibly different meanings. Submitted proposals could address, but are not limited to one of the following topics:
– cross-border practices of and discourse on photography
– photography as a tool in shaping or challenging (national) identities
– photo historiography and theory in Central and Eastern Europe, research lacunae

To propose a paper, please send your abstract (no more than 300 words, including the title)
by 15 December 2016 to

For the purpose of blind refereeing, the full name of each author with his/her current affiliation, full contact
details, title of his/her presentation and biographical note (150 words) should be submitted as a separate pdf

The presentations will be given in English.

Submission deadline – 15 December 2016
Notification of acceptance – 31 January 2017
Registration deadline – 30 April 2017

Conference fee
Regular fee 15€
Student fee 10€
Dinner 20€

Institute of Art History, The Czech Academy of Sciences
Husova 4, Prague

Keynote Speakers
Zsófia Bán (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest)
Tomáš Dvořák (FAMU, Prague)
Monika Faber (Photoinstitut Bonartes, Vienna)

Petra Trnková (Institute of Art History, The Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague)
Eva Pluhařová-Grigienė (Humboldt University of Berlin)
Marta Ziętkiewicz (Liber pro Arte, Warsaw)

Petra Trnková,, +420 776 679 484