Appel à communications : Making, Breaking, and Remaking (Edinburgh/online, 19 May 23)

Conference: Historical Fragments: Making, Breaking, and Remaking, hosted by the Material and Visual Culture in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries Research Cluster, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art.

Taking ‘fragmentation’ as the conceptual starting point for the day, the Material and Visual Culture in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries Research Cluster is hosting a one-day hybrid conference that considers the materiality and shifting conditions of global objects and collections (focusing on the time period 1500-1800) as they are broken, fragmented, remade, or assembled. Seeking to investigate the ‘brokenness’ of such material culture objects and collections, the conference will de-centre conservation and restoration which often dominate discourse on the subject.

The Research Cluster aims to provide a space to foster interdisciplinary discussion centred around approaching fragmented objects as material culture. Conference sessions therefore vary in format to diversify how participants may interrogate this material. The day will include a keynote by Dr. Catriona Murray on royal iconoclasm during the English Revolution, and a roundtable discussion on approaches to broken things led by Dr. Caroline McCaffrey-Howarth, featuring academics and curators from various institutions. It will also include several presentations from PhD and Early Career Researchers as well as a workshop for in person attendees.

To that end, we seek proposals for 10-minute papers that explore the materiality of fragmentation, broken things, or assemblages. We are particularly interested in the myriad relationships between people and things, interrogating issues of (un)making, consumption, exchange, and agency. We welcome contributions from researchers and museum professionals from fields, including but not limited to Art History, History, Literature, and Anthropology, English Literature, Archaeology.

Please submit a title and abstract of no more than 250 words, with a short biography (max 100 words) to by the 15th March 2023.

Some travel bursaries will be available to assist speaker attendance. Please aks for further information.


The conference is kindly supported by Edinburgh College of Art.


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