Appel à communication : « Natural Disaster and the Bay of Naples: Artistic Encounters and Transformations » (en ligne, 19 juin 2021)

Since antiquity, natural disasters–volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and waves of infectious disease, in particular–have shaped the natural and built environment of the Bay of Naples. Over this long period, works of art and cultural practices have responded to and represented these events, creating new knowledge and meaning from catastrophe and its aftermath.

Newly attuned to the ways in which natural disaster reshapes our physical, social, and cultural worlds, we invite proposals for contributions to a digital research seminar co-organized by the Center for the Art and Architectural History of Port Cities and Franklin University Switzerland. On Saturday, June 19, 2021, 6-8 selected participants will convene via Zoom to present and discuss 15-minute papers that explore questions related to artistic responses to natural disaster on the Bay of Naples. Papers will be pre-circulated to facilitate discussion among participants. Contributions should center on case studies in order to ask how individual artworks and cultural practices (for example, collecting and ritual performance) during and/or after natural disasters represent the transformation of the natural and built environment; reconfigure relationships between nature and culture and between the human and the divine; mitigate or create order amid disaster; document or erase disaster and its aftermath; produce new scientific knowledge; construct or reconstruct cultural memory; structure new understandings of materials and the material world; and shape imaginations of the local and the global. Within the broader study of the intersection between disaster and cultural heritage, the seminar will trace patterns of artistic encounters and transformations in the particular context of the Bay of Naples.

Depending on the outcome of the seminar, the organizers will consider the viability of collecting the contributions in a publication.

To propose a contribution, please send an abstract of 250-350 words, a CV, and a narrative biography of 100-150 words to Gabriel Gee (Franklin University Switzerland) and Sarah Kozlowski (Center for the Art and Architectural History of Port Cities / The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History) at and by Friday, March 26, 2021.


Leave a Reply