Reception, Nachleben and Transhistorical Art History

Organised by NICA and the OSK with the University of Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum & Coventry University

From reception studies to transhistorical art history: method & theory in the study of the Nachleben of art and literature (28 – 30 June, 2017)

With:   Elizabeth Emery (Montclair University, New York), keynote; Tessel M. Bauduin (Universiteit van Amsterdam), principal lecturer; Juliet Simpson (Coventry University); Anna-Maria von Bonsdorff (Ateneum Art Museum/Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki); and Jenny Reynaerts (Rijksmuseum).

For:     PhD researchers and advanced research master-students.

This masterclass is open for PhD researchers and advanced research master-students from all backgrounds, interests and dissertation topics. Note: there will be a strong focus upon the reception of medieval and early modern (until ca. 1800) visual arts & literature in museum collections, private collections and the arts generally in the period 1850-1950. Participants should be a member of NICA, the OSK, or another accredited Dutch Graduate Research School. Max. amount of participants: 14. Motivation letter required. Include with your letter a brief (1 page) CV.

Time & place:  Wednesday 28 June, 13:00 – 17:00 h (masterclass), Vondelzaal, UBA; conference attendance on Thursday 29 & Friday 30 June, 09:00 – 17:00 h, Rijksmuseum.

ECTS: 3

Theme

This masterclass will explore the methodology of art and cultural historical reception study. The focus will lie in particular upon research that is concerned with the reception of the visual arts, and literature, from before ca. 1800 (medieval and early modern) in the modern period 1850-1950, specifically in private and museum collections, as well as in the arts generally. It should be noted that both that which is being received as where the reception occurs does not necessarily need to be Western.

Recurring themes in such research often are cross-mediality (reception of one medium in another) and cross-modality (reception in another context); temporality, cross-historicity and trans-historicity: dynamics of reception within another time period altogether; along similar lines, transnationality or even trans-globalism; identity-politics and nationalism; and the rather large spectrum of modes of “reception”, incorporating relevance, reception in the classic sense, nachleben, survivance, and appropriation as much as restoration, (re-) construction, and invention. To face such concerns, methodology and theoretical constructs used in cultural reception research include (but are not limited to): reception studies, classical reception history, nachleben, survivance/mémoire, transhistorical art history, and memory studies. The particular nature and context(s) of one’s research subject may also lead to interdisciplinary forays into other disciplines’ methodologies.

Outline of the programme of the masterclass

In this masterclass we will excavate the methodological challenges and opportunities of reception history in arts and literature. All participants are asked to prepare a statement on the methodology employed in their own research, to be presented as a 5 min. elevator pitch. This should include:

a) the subject of one’s research
b) expected conclusions (or direction of conclusions)
c) the method(s) currently used or slated to be used.

In addition, we would also appreciate it if researchers would also note:

d) an obstacle or challenge: is there a method or theoretical frame you would like to use, or think you should, but don’t really know how to deploy, incorporate or even, define?

In addition to responding to these presentations, the invited speakers will also reflect upon methodological challenges and blind spots in their own work. This will open the floor for discussion and group reflection upon the issue of method & theory in art and cultural historical reception study.

All participants will have read a portfolio of relevant articles & chapters (provided beforehand), which ensures a common ground for discussion, even as there will be sufficient space to reflect upon individual cases.

Admission to this masterclass includes access to the 2-day conference Gothic Modernisms at the Rijksmuseum, 29 and 30 June (no separate registration required).

Participants are furthermore expected to write a brief piece afterwards (ca. 2000 w.): either a conference review of Gothic Modernisms suitable for publication, or an essay that reflects upon the insights (methodological, theoretical and otherwise) gained during the conference that are particularly relevant for the candidate’s own research, and why.

Reading list:    will be provided in May.

The group of participants will be limited to max. 14 participants. A letter of application (outlining your motivation for this masterclass) is required.

To register: email dr. Eloe Kingma at nica-fgw@uva.nl. Please specify your home programme and institution, and offer a brief motivation and one-page CV.

Organisation:   Netherlands Institute for Cultural Analysis (NICA) and the Dutch Graduate Research School for Art History (OSK).

Partners:          University of Amsterdam; Coventry University; Rijksmuseum; NWO.