[Msa-discuss] CFP: Chicago Design: Histories and Narratives, Questions and Methods

Stephanie Dvareckas sdvareckas at saic.edu
Thu Apr 5 13:30:35 EDT 2018


Deadline: May 15, 2018
CFP: Chicago Design: Histories and Narratives, Questions and Methods

Chicago, IL, USA November 8-10, 2018

Keynote Speakers:

   - David Brody, Associate Professor of Design Studies, Parsons The New
   School for Design
   - Lizabeth Cohen, Howard Mumford Jones Professor of American Studies,
   Harvard University

This conference proposes design as a timely lens through which to
re-examine the history of Chicago, a city whose past encompasses the major
national and international themes of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
and exemplifies how geography, demographics, and politics intertwined to
shape the emergence of modern design in an urban environment. Taking a
broad view of design, we seek papers that shed light on practices of
fashion, graphic design, architecture, interiors, decorative arts,
advertising, and industrial design in Chicago between the early nineteenth
century and the end of the twentieth century and that represent a diverse
range of methodological viewpoints. Moreover, in order to reckon more fully
with the complex interplay of grand narratives and complex local realities,
we also encourage papers from any discipline that take design, broadly
defined, as a lens through which to explore aspects of the city’s history
not typically considered within the frameworks of art and architecture that
have largely defined the history of design in Chicago to date.
Fundamentally, this conference aims to consider the prospect of a local
design history for a city that has often been outward-looking, and will
ask: Is Chicago only a microcosm of broader trends in the nation and world,
or are there distinctive aspects of Chicago’s design history? Can the
city’s particular histories of design shed light on developments elsewhere?
How might greater understanding of Chicago’s design history reveal new
insights into the city’s larger social, cultural, and economic character?
And more broadly, what might exploring the relationship between design and
place historically in Chicago suggest for understanding that same dynamic
in our current age of globalization?

We request proposals for scholarly presentations of 25 minutes on topics
related to any aspect of Chicago’s design history. Building on the work of
our keynote speakers, who have articulated new lines of historical inquiry
into popular culture, labor, and consumption as they shape both local
communities and the very notion of American culture, we particularly invite
proposals from scholars in related fields, such as the history of art,
labor, urbanization, technology, business, literature, performance,
geography, sociology, and anthropology. Topics and themes of interest

   - Who made Chicago: design’s role in such historical phenomena as the
   Great Migration and other waves of immigration and gentrification;
   - What Chicago made: histories of industry and craft and their markets
   within or beyond the city;
   - What Chicago bought and sold: histories of retail/wholesale trade,
   advertising, and mail-order businesses with respect to local, national, and
   international markets;
   - Who learned and taught in Chicago: schools of art, architecture, and
   design or other sites of training, as well as the role of educators and
   institutions in related disciplines such as theater, dance, and film.

Please submit proposals comprising an abstract of no more than 500 words
and a 2-page CV by *May 15, 2018 *via email to jmekinda at gmail.com and
swilliamson1 at saic.edu. Participants will be notified by June 30, 2018 of
their acceptance. Funding will be available to support participants’ travel
and accommodation.

“Chicago Design: Histories and Narratives, Questions and Methods” is
organized by Jonathan Mekinda (Assistant Professor, Art History and Design,
University of Illinois at Chicago) and Bess Williamson, (Assistant
Professor, Art History, Theory, and Criticism, School of the Art Institute
of Chicago). The conference is part of Art Design Chicago, an initiative of
the Terra Foundation for American Art, dedicated to helping people in
Chicago and around the world experience, understand, and enjoy Chicago’s
extraordinary artistic legacy. The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation is the
Presenting Partner of Art Design Chicago. Additional support for the
conference is provided by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the
Fine Arts, the Art Institute of Chicago, the School of the Art Institute of
Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Stephanie R. Dvareckas

MA Candidate in Art History
Graduate Assistant to the Executive Committee
Art History, Theory & Criticism
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
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