Call for Papers: College Art Association, 2013–The Art of the Gift: Theorizing Objects in Early Modern Cross-Cultural Exchange

Associate Professor Nancy Um will be co-chairing a panel at the College Art Association’s 101st annual meeting in New York City next year. Please see below for the call for papers. Full submission information can be found at

The Art of the Gift: Theorizing Objects in Early Modern Cross-Cultural Exchange

This panel focuses on the visual culture of gifts during the dynamic early modern era, when objects of exchange played an important role in burgeoning cross-cultural encounters, long-distance economic interactions, and diplomatic engagements. Its aim is to examine the unique contributions that art history may offer to the critical legacy of the gift, with its anthropological and sociological roots, such as a concern for the visuality of objects in motion, an interest in collecting and display, and an awareness of how objects of exchange may give rise to new social and artistic practices. The panel organizers encourage theoretically engaged papers that represent the broad geographic scope of the gift encounter, locate gifts in dynamic cross-cultural matrices of circulation and consumption, stake out territory within or in response to exchange theory, and/or consider the shifting and unstable meanings of objects as they changed hands across time and space.

Please send proposals/abstracts to:

Nancy Um, Binghamton University; and Leah Clark, Saint Michael’s College. Email: and leah.

Proposals for papers due to session chairs on May 4, 2012

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