The 107th Annual Conference of the College Art Association will be held at the New York Hilton Midtown, 13–16 February 2019. HBA will be represented by several events including this session on climate change, chaired by Jongwoo Jeremy Kim (abstracts are available as a Word document here); a business meeting that includes a roundtable conversation on the state of British art research with several major scholars; and an off-site visit to The Morgan Library.
Climate Change and British Art (HBA)
Friday, 15 February, 8:30am, Room: Gramercy East
Chair: Jongwoo Jeremy Kim (Associate Professor of Critical Studies / Art History and Theory, School of Art, Carnegie Mellon University)
They say Britons obsess over the weather. Alexander Cozens, John Constable, and J. M. W. Turner certainly ruined any prospect of ever dislodging British visual legacy from meteorology. Yet, this centuries-old visual history of grappling with humankind’s relationship with nature seems unprecedentedly urgent at a time when climate change denial has become a tremendous political force affecting national and local elections. In response to the current global environmental crisis, Britain’s 2005 Turner Prize winner Simon Starling rode an electric bicycle through the Spanish desert. His vehicle burned no fossil fuels and produced no smoke. Instead, the contraption collected water. With the water sourced from this punishing human labor, Starling made a watercolor of a cactus like a Regency botanist. Similarly, the Liberate Tate group’s protest performances against the oil giant BP’s corporate sponsorship of art institutions remind us that our historical consciousness must reflect recent developments in art-based environmental activism. Spurred by artists like Starling and works like License to Spill, 2010 (“a miniature oil spill at the Tate’s summer gala”), the Historians of British Art invites papers that examine the relationship between climate change, sustainability, the Anthropocene, and British art on a global scale. Papers that draw on critical debates about art and the politics of ecology, representations of ecological vulnerability and resilience, and contemporary visuality responding to climate change and the global economy are particularly welcome. ‘British Art’ is broadly defined to include works by artists who actively engage in decolonization in the former British colonies.
• Nicholas Robbins (Doctoral Candidate, History of Art, Yale University), Luke Howard and the Normal Landscape
• Alison Syme (Associate Professor of Modern Art History, Department of Visual Studies, University of Toronto), Abnatural Climates of the Kelmscott Chaucer
• Kate Flint (Provost Professor of Art History and English, University of Southern California), Lichen, Climate Change, and Ecological Aesthetics
• Ian Bourland (Assistant Professor of Art History, Department of Art and Art History, Georgetown University), After the Flood: John Akomfrah’s Images of the Anthropocene
• Kimberly Rhodes, Professor of Art History, Department of Art History, Drew University
• Nadja Verena Marcin, Artist (MFA, Columbia University, 2010)
HBA Business Meeting and Roundtable Discussion
The State of Research: History of British Art Now
Friday, 15 February, 12:30, Room: Gramercy East
The annual HBA business meeting will include a special 30-minute roundtable discussion concerning the state of research in the field. The participants will be Tim Barringer (Yale University), Julie Codell (Arizona State University), Imogen Hart (University of California-Berkeley), and Mary Roberts (University of Sydney). HBA President Jongwoo Jeremy Kim will moderate a wide ranging discussion, and the audience will have an opportunity to ask questions.
John Ruskin at The Morgan Library
Wednesday, 13 February 2019, 1:00–3:00
In this private study session, hosted by Jennifer Tonkovich, Eugene and Clare Thaw Curator at the Morgan Library, Tonkovich, Courtney Long, and Jeremy Melius will discuss highlights from the Library’s extraordinary holdings of drawings, manuscripts, and other materials related to John Ruskin on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of his birth. The event is limited to 10–12 members of the Historians of British Art. Spaces for this event are still available! RSVP to Jeremy Melius, firstname.lastname@example.org, by February 1, if you are interested.
Note (added 2 February 2019) — The original posting included information addressing only the session on Climate Change and British Art.