Appel à communication : Life and/as Art in the Eighteenth Century (Pittsburgh, 31 mars-3 avril 2016)

CALL FOR PAPERS: ”Life and/as Art in the Eighteenth Century”,
Noémie Etienne (Getty Research Institute) and Meredith Martin (New York University),
American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Annual Conference, Pittsburgh, March 31-April 3.

automateDuring the eighteenth century, a whole series of artistic productions aimed to simulate motion and life, at the same time that individuals became ever more preoccupied with performing or embodying static works of art.
This session aims to explore such hybrid creations and the boundaries they challenged between animate and inanimate form, art and technology, the living and the dead. Papers may focus on specific objects, such as the automata created by the clockmaker Pierre-Jacques Droz that imitated human acts of writing or harpsichord playing; hyperrealistic wax figures, sometimes displayed in groups or dioramas, that were used for entertainment as well as pedagogical and medical purposes; and “tableaux mécaniques,” mixed-media paintings with motors on the back that enabled the figures represented to move across their surfaces.
Other possible topics include the staging of collaborative tableaux vivants in eighteenth-century theaters, gardens, and salons; and related attempts to resurrect or animate ancient artifacts, as in Emma Hamilton’s “living statue” performances. Papers that consider the eighteenth-century specificity of such artistic productions, introduce new methodological perspectives, or discuss relevant examples from outside of Europe are especially encouraged.


Please email submission to Noémie Etienne ( AND Meredith Martin ( by September 15, 2015.

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