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RHA Nº 10 2011 : CFP: Revista de História da Arte N.10 – practices of theory


When Oct 31, 2011 - Oct 31, 2011
Where Lisbon
Submission Deadline Oct 31, 2011
Categories    practices of theory   ART THEORY   art history

Call For Papers

Revista de História da Arte N.10 – practices of theory
Edited by Joana Cunha Leal and Mariana Pinto dos Santos

Call for papers

Revista de História da Arte is published by the Art History Institute of Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal). Its 10th number is commited to the analysis and discussion of “practices of theory”. This title paraphrases Keith Moxey’s The practice of theory: poststructuralism, cultural politics and art history (New York: Cornell University Press, 1994) suggesting what seemed to us the need to ponder and debate the ways research subjects intertwine, or spring from, or demand, or conversely reject, or escape from theory, both in art history and in the wider field of social and human sciences, as well as artistic practices. Theory is here used in its wider sense, connoting its aesthetical, episthemological, critical and/or political, thus ideological, dimentions.

We are therefore engaged in a twofold conversation on the encounter-confrontation between research practices and theory. First, we seek to carry on a debate on the significance of theory for the construction of research in art history (a debate that never really emerged in Portuguese art history). On the one hand, we take the appearance of several renewal symphtoms of art historical research more than thirty years ago as a reference for this discussion: the foundation of the Centre d’Histoire et Théorie des Arts (CETHA) at the École des Haute Études by Hubert Damisch; Anglo-Saxon new art history’s first contributions, both in T.J. Clark’s social approach and Griselda Pollock’s feminist approach; and October journal project lauched by R. Krauss and Annette Michelson. On the other hand, we take the idea of “normal art history”, described by J. Elkins (Our beautiful, dry and distant texts: art history as writing. – New York: Routledge, 1997, 11-12) as denoting “that portion of the institutionally defined discipline whose authors are relatively mute about ‘philosophy’ and concerned largely with objects”. In “normal” art historical texts theoretical and ideological commitment is not appreciated, and often, not even recognized.

Secondly, we intend to bring this discussion on “practices of theory” into other areas: social and human sciences, architecture and artistic practices in the broadest sense (visual arts, literature, dance, theater, cinema, design etc), as it seemed too us that when theory matters to those fields the distinction between them tends to be blurred.

Contributors to this journal are invited to present papers and book reviews that address these issues, observing the questions, themes and topics of debate suggested above as exempla:

a) What are the basis, implications, contigencies (and limits?) of the idea of constructing a subject of research? What is the role of theory in that process and what are its methodological implications?

b) Present as case studies theoretical problems rised during one’s own research;

c) Studies on historiography and criticism. Are there any texts without sub-text as sometimes ‘normal’ history writing pretends?

d) Essays on contemporary theoretical debates that thoughtfully consider its relation to research;

e) The significance of critical theory, feminist and gender studies, cultural and visual studies, social and political history, and post-colonial studies in extending and strengthening a general awareness about the need of theory in any disciplines’ research endeavor.

Abstracts of no more than 500 words, are to be headed with applicant’s identification (name, institution, position and email). Submit with the abstract a short curriculum vitae (maximum 150 words). Applications written in Portuguese, Spanish, English, or French must be sent to the editors at no later than October 31st 2011.

Uppon acceptance original manuscripts of 5000 words máximum are due by January 30th 2012. Authors must observe the formatting and the submission regulations of Revista de História da Arte available at


Joana Cunha Leal teaches at the art history department of FCSH of Universidade Nova de Lisboa and is associate researcher at the Art History Institute of the same University. She is the head the Institute’s research line on theory and disciplinary practices of art history.

Mariana Pinto dos Santos researcher at the Art History Institute and PhD fellow of the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation. Currently working on PhD dissertation entitled Inventories, narratives, fragments. (Im)pertinence of art historiography. Co-editor of theory magazine Intervalo.

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