Back to Opportunities

CFP: Landscape through a Sociopolitical Lens: Representing the Environment in Northern Europe, ca. 1430-1785 (Historians of Netherlandish Art-sponsored Session at CAA, Chicago, 12–15 Feb 2020)

Scarcely a news cycle passes without discussion of national borders, climate change, natural disasters, and globalization. This discourse has prompted new questions about the visual representation of the physical environment, making this an apt moment to reassess the extraordinary production and consumption of painted, drawn, and printed landscapes in Northern Europe in the early modern period. This session seeks to complicate existing understandings of this material by focusing on its intrinsic but diverse sociopolitical content. How, for example, did pictorial tactics and conventions function as inscriptions of power, control, identity, and otherness? What was the role of these images in shaping contemporary conversations about social ecologies, about land ownership and labor? How has the vision of nature provided by Northern artists informed or shifted understandings of “space,” “nature,” and “environment?” Can we understand historiographical models—the advent of global art history, for example—as a product of the study of Northern landscape? How can we think of landscapes as agents that actively shaped the way in which individuals viewed and lived in the world? This session hopes to attend to the concept of “world,” integrating considerations of “the Northern landscape” with those of the landscape imagery produced by artists working in overseas territories, like the Dutch East Indies. We seek papers on all forms of landscape, including cityscapes, marine views, backgrounds of religious paintings, garden design, and city planning, produced in, or in connection with, the Northern Netherlands, Southern Netherlands, or Germany between the 15th and 18th centuries.

Session chairs: Joanna Sheers Seidenstein, Harvard Art Museums ( and Sarah Walsh Mallory, Harvard University (

Proposals, which are due via email to the session chairs no later than July 23, 2019, must include the CAA proposal form and a short-form CV.

All session participants must be CAA and HNA members. Please note that a paper that has been published previously or presented at another scholarly conference may not be delivered at the CAA Annual Conference.

Please visit the 'External Link' below for more information, including submission guidelines (top of the page) and a link to the CAA proposal form.
Relevant research areas: Baroque, 18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century

Leave a Reply