2015 American Association for Italian Studies Annual Conference, University of Colorado, Boulder, 26-28 March
The IAS will sponsor two sessions at the 2015 meeting of AAIS. Abstracts are due to session organizers by 31 December 2014.

CFP: More than Mere Playthings: The Minor Arts of Italy
Organizer: Julia C. Fischer (Lamar University)

The minor arts refer to any art form besides the fine arts of architecture, painting, and sculpture. Though highly praised and valued at the time of their creation, the minor arts remain marginalized in art historical scholarship. Recent studies have attempted to bring the minor arts back to the forefront. For example, Marina Belozerskaya, Kenneth Lapatin, and Marian H. Feldman have revealed the relationships between the minor arts and reception, contextualization, and portability. This session is intended to expand upon the current scholarship and also seeks to discard the modern division between minor arts and fine arts, thereby returning these less known art objects to the mainstream. Papers are welcome to explore a variety of time periods and artistic media of the minor arts, such as reliquaries, mirrors, cameos, jewelry, and figurines. Papers can also approach the topic of the minor arts from a variety of perspectives, including reception, patronage, gender issues, propaganda, and iconography.

Please send abstracts of 150–250 words and a 1-page cv by email to Julia C. Fischer by Wednesday, December 31, 2014.

CFP: Unattended Figures: Revisiting Figuration in Postwar Italian Art, 1946–1980
Organizer: Tenley Bick (University of California, Los Angeles)

In the years following World War II, the direction of Italian art was largely informed by cultural debates that set realism and abstraction in conflict as viable creative strategies for the postwar period. Realism, primarily manifest in figurative painting, was problematically associated with Communism and criticized as an untimely return to neoclassical ideals endorsed by Fascism, and largely fell out of favor by the end of the 1950s. By contrast, abstraction––both geometric and gestural––while also politically contentious due to nationalistic associations with French cubism, art informel and American Abstract Expressionism, ultimately gained traction over the course of the 1950s and predominantly dominated the 1960s. While scholarship has focused on the numerous innovations and historical importance of abstraction for key developments in postwar and contemporary Italian art, little consideration has been given to the continued history and significance of figuration for the same period, instead leaving it largely unattended from the end of neorealismo in the early 1950s to the emergence of the Transavanguardia in the late 1970s. This session requests papers that address the complex, understudied history of figuration in postwar Italian art from 1946 to 1980, with particular interest in topics that consider the politics of figuration, its relationship to the formation of postwar Italian identity, and/or its significance for Italian modernism and avant-garde movements of the period. Paper topics might include: Arti figurative exhibitions and the project of postwar cultural renovation; figuration in the Fronte nuovo delle arti; the image of the “new man” and postwar Italian design; postwar figuration and the remediation of Italian futurism; nuova figurazione; postwar figuration and cultural exchange between the USSR and Italy; and the figure in Italian pop, among others. Proposals that consider the panel topic in theater, literature, and film are also welcome.

Please send abstracts of 150–250 words (in English or Italian) and a 1-page cv by email to Tenley Bick by Wednesday, December 31, 2014.

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