Appel à contributions, Revista de Historia da Arte : “Crisis”

Revista de História da Arte N.12 – Crisis
Edited by Margarida Brito Alves, Giulia Lamoni and Katherine Sirois


Call for papers

The next issue of Revista de História da Arte, published by Instituto de História da Arte, will focus on the subject of “Crisis”.

In the last few years, as a kind of muted persistence of developments throughout the 20th century, the term “crisis” has been repeated to exhaustion with regard to a period of instability resulting from an economic collapse, which gives it an inevitably negative and dramatic character.

However, from its origins, the word “crisis” has always related to a judgment, even a diagnosis, thus referring rather to the assessment of a defining time of transition, capable of evolving in different ways.

In its various meanings, the Greek term krisis corresponds somehow to a critical moment, a choice or an action, on the background of intense conflict. A crisis brings about an outcome, it determines a decisive result for an individual or a society. In medical terms, the notion of crisis – originating from the legal sphere – links in with humans and the realities of the body; it refers to a breaking point, a sudden change in the evolution of a disease (J. Pigeaud). In the cultural, artistic and intellectual fields, a crisis involves a challenge, whether by questioning, confronting or rejecting the traditions, conventions and legacies of the past (E. Husserl, H. Arendt, H. Belting). It is a process that can open up new pathways, new methods, new paradigms, new objects. In sum, the notion of crisis inevitably invokes something new, breaking up in a more or less radical fashion with what was previously established. In its more extreme form, a crisis corresponds to a passage marked by turbulence, tension and disorganization, at times convulsed and anxiety-inducing. It evokes transition periods which demand urgent action and a sense of responsibility, so they can reach their end in their move forward towards the unknown, the new, the unprecedented. A crisis thus coincides with a time of effervescence and great creative vitality capable of giving rise to foundational acts.

As a turning point, a crisis can therefore be linked to the notion of rupture, but it can equally affirm dynamic productive forces, thus constituting an opportunity, or a challenge, to create and define a new paradigm.

Notwithstanding various recent initiatives aiming at problematizing the notion of “crisis” over a wide range of areas, we propose to reflect on it in the field of the History of Art, here necessarily understood in its interaction with the broader ground of the Social Sciences.

For Art History, the notion of “crisis” can indeed be a fertile one, as it can be reflected upon across the board: from Antiquity to Contemporaneity, the History of Art can be seen as a set of narratives linked to various critical processes. As such, a crisis ceases to be an “exceptional condition” to become a recurrence, even a “state of normality” stretching indefinitely in time (G. Agamben 2013).

Based on these premises, issue 12 of Revista de História da Arte aims at creating a space for problematizing the concept of “crisis” within Art History and artistic production – including Architecture, Dance, Theatre and Cinema – but also in their interaction with other areas of the Social Sciences and Humanities.

To this end, we invite the submission of article proposals exploring the subject within a variety of geographical and cultural contexts, based on, but not limited to, any of the following approaches.

a) Problematizing the concept of “crisis” and its genealogies
b) “Crisis” as builder of new models and paradigms
c) Disciplinary crises in Art History
d) Crises in Discourses / Narratives
e) Crisis: Modernism(s) / Post-Modernism
f) Crisis and heterodoxy (including the crisis of artistic categories / crisis of the autonomy of art)
g) Traditions and historical legacies / Modernisms and Avant-gardes: creative conflicts and the notion of novelty.
h) The impact of the current crisis and its problematization in contemporary artistic practices.
i) Culture and Art as “arms of resistance” against the crisis.
j) Culture crisis / Education crisis

Original abstracts should be maximum 300 words in length and clearly indicate the author’s name, institutional affiliation, e-mail address and brief biographical note. Abstracts should be sent in Portuguese, English or French to by June 20th 2014.

Papers selected based on original abstracts will need to be sent by October 15th 2014, when they will be submitted to a peer-review process. Articles should be maximum 5000 words in length and follow the editorial guidelines available on:

Scientific coordination:
Margarida Brito Alves is Assistant Professor in the Department of Art History, FCSH, and a researcher at IHA, where she is in charge of the Research Group on Contemporary Art Studies.
Giulia Lamoni is a post-doctoral researcher at IHA where she coordinates the Research Line on Transnational Perspectives on Contemporary Art: Identities and Representation.
Katherine Sirois is a PhD candidate in Art History and Aesthetics in Paris (Panthéon-Sorbonne) and Lisbon (FCSH), as well as being an IHA researcher with an FCT fellowship.