Conference & Events

8 July 2017

CAA 106th Annual Conference 2018 -
Imagining the International: Repositioning Peripheral Narratives in Global Design Histories

This panel calls for papers exploring peripheral narratives in global design history, welcoming re-examinations of methods by which post-war cultural practices negotiated ideas of centrality. Taking two contrasting economic and political models as starting points, the Japanese Bubble Economy (1986-1991) and socialist Czechoslovakia (1948-1989), this panel addresses the role of individual subversion and tension within official design hierarchies.

Recent design history scholarship has focused on the mechanisms and implications of transcultural flows (Adamson, Riello, Teasley, 2011). This panel proposes that these studies can also enrich our understanding of how non-western narratives were engaged in a process of conflict, subversion and dialogue with the hegemony of patriarchal modernisation, thus re-imagining the international. In exploring individual design and making practices that were in a process of constant repositioning in relation to 'official' (and often western) discourse, this panel will show how design historians have a vital role to play in re-evaluating hierarchies of globalised histories and claims to cultural centrality.

Examples this panel's themes include (but are not restricted to): adoption, transformation, and reinterpretation of international styles; use of the international as a challenge to the status quo; re-empowerment of the local as a re-centring against (or dialogue with) the international; and individual cultural re-imagining outside of official discourse. Areas of interest include (but are not restricted to): architecture, interiors, craft, furniture and product design, decorative arts, visual communication, exhibitions, fashion, gender, sub-cultures, and oral histories within global and material design histories.

Paper abstract: maximum 250 words, in the form of a single paragraph, plus a short biography.

Deadline: 14 August 2017.

Proposals to be sent directly to the chairs:
Hui-Ying Kerr:
Rebecca Bell:

All participants must be members of the CAA at the time of the conference in Los Angeles, 21-24 February 2018. Travel grants may be found on the CAA website.

For more details, please see the online CAA call for papers, page 18.


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