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CFP: Transmediality in Global Netherlandish Art

A central challenge of a global history of early modern art is how to integrate macro-historical and long-distance approaches with the micro-historical analysis of individual works and their makers. One way of connecting cross-cultural exchanges to the technical, stylistic, and thematic aspects of objects is to focus on ‘transmediality’, or the crossovers between media to which the works’ cultural biographies testify. Drawings were turned into prints and paintings of varying sizes; forms and themes were reshaped in new materials; the materials themselves were imitated or even forged; and boundaries between painting, architecture, and the applied arts were crossed or ignored. Such ‘transmedial’ objects may raise questions about cultural translation and visual literacy, about the role of artists and artworks as cultural mediators, about the institutions and networks they were connected to, and about worldviews that were affected by the circulation of knowledge. They may evidence to what extent Netherlandish art, rather than easing its way from center to periphery, had to prove its new relevance in contexts with stronger traditions. At the same time, imported objects could confirm or subvert the existing hierarchies of genre, materials, and authenticity in the Low Countries.

Through a consideration of ‘transmediality’, our panel invites papers that will not only complicate our approaches to global and cross-cultural materials, but also will enable us to consider vernacular styles through new lenses. We encourage submissions that explore content, materials, and makers excluded from conventional canons of fine art, and we seek papers employing methodologies that aim to expand our concept of globalism beyond geographic boundaries and binary comparison to consider cultures – print, mercantile, court – which may transcend these distinctions. We welcome submissions from art historians as well as those in related disciplines, including scholars whose focus may not be European art but whose work addresses objects that are in conversation with Netherlandish materials.

To submit a proposal for consideration, please send a 250 word abstract, a 100 word bio, and a 1-2 page CV to

by June 1, 2017. Papers must be based on ongoing research and unpublished. Participants must be HNA members at the time of the conference.

Panel Chairs:
Christine Göttler, University of Bern
Dawn Odell, Lewis & Clark College
Thijs Weststeijn, Utrecht University
Relevant research areas: Western Europe, Baroque

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