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Sunday, February 28, 2016


Deadline: March 15, 2016

The 31st annual conference of the South African Visual Arts Historians (SAVAH) will take place at the University of Johannesburg on July 29 and 30. It will commence with a welcoming event on the evening of July 28 and end with tours on the morning of July 31.

Rethinking Art History and Visual Culture in a Contemporary Context is the title of the conference and the organisers submit the following information:

“The “Rhodes Must Fall” and “Fees Must Fall” campaigns which arose in South Africa in the course of 2015, while focused on transformative agendas in a broad sense, also emphasised how various inheritances from the West have played a fundamental role in shaping universities – not only in terms of their curricula but also their institutional cultures more generally. Occurring in a context where the humanities are under threat and where neoliberal forces may upset what we understand as fundamental to the academic project, these recent calls for critical engagement with institutional histories and practices suggest that reconsideration of disciplinary knowledges and understandings have become increasingly urgent.

In this conference we seek to take stock of what we do in art history (and related areas of exploration) in light of new calls for transformation and relevance.”

Presentations of 20 minutes are invited that focus on particular examples or case studies that can contribute towards the questions to be addressed or indeed any others which have a bearing on art history’s relevance and changing roles within the present.

Send a title of your proposed paper, an abstract of between 300 and 400 words as well as your affiliation and contact details to by March 15, 2016. Please write the words “SAVAH conference proposal” in the subject line of your e-mail.

(This information is published in full on the Arts & Culture Trust’s blog – see