Call for Essays: Women and the Art and Science of Collecting: Eighteenth-Century Collecting Beyond Europe

May 4, 2020

Call for Essays: Women and the Art and Science of Collecting: Eighteenth-Century Collecting Beyond Europe

 

Edited by Dr. Arlene Leis and Dr. Kacie Wills

 

We are inviting chapter abstracts for a collection of essays designed for academics, specialists, and enthusiasts interested in the interrelations between art and science in women’s collections and collecting practices beyond Europe in the long 18th century. This volume will follow our forthcoming compendium on the topic entitled, Women and the Art and Science of Collecting in Eighteenth-Century Europe, published by Routledge. This book recovers women’s histories through numerous interdisciplinary discourses pertaining to the subject of collecting, and it examines their interests, methodologies, and practices in relation to cultures of art and science. In the second volume, we continue this discussion and consider women’s relationships to collecting of European and non-European objects, gathered, exchanged ,and displayed within colonies and with indigenous cultures beyond Europe. Responding to ideas about indigenous collecting raised by Nicholas Thomas, Jennifer Newell, Greg Dening, Anne D’Alleva, Adriana Craciun, Mary Terrall, and others, we also aim to consider intercultural exchanges and collections of objects relatively unknown to Europeans. European collecting often traces its roots to Biblical mythologies, such as the stories of Adam (naming and owning) and Noah (rescuing and preserving). What are the histories of collecting beyond Europe? And in what ways did women actively participate in or challenge those stories?

 

We hope to explore a diverse range of theoretical contexts, such as art historical, material culture, feminist, social, performance, gender, colonial, archival, and literary. We welcome essays that take a material culture approach and are particularly keen on research that makes use of new archival resources. We encourage interdisciplinary perspectives and are especially interested in essays that reveal the way in which women’s collections outside of Europe participated in cultures of art and science.

The compendium will consist of around 10 essays of 6,000-6,500 words (with footnotes), each with up to four illustrations. In addition to these more traditional essays, we are looking for shorter (circa 1,000 words) case studies on material objects of interest from the period. The subject of women’s collections and art and science is also central to these smaller contributions, and each will include one illustration. We aim to address the following topics and questions:

  •       The practice of collecting as cultural construct   

  •       Decolonizing collecting

  •       What motivated women to collect in places outside of Europe? What were they collecting? How were women’s collections beyond Europe similar or different to their European counterparts?

  •       Women’s travel, immigration, exploration and the mobility of objects

  •       Collaborations

  •       Classification, taxonomies and methodologies of collecting outside of Europe

  •       Religious collections

  •       Display

  •       Collecting for power and status

  •       Preservation, creation and learning

  •       The aesthetics of collecting beyond Europe

  •       Women’s exchanges/interactions with indigenous populations

  •       Collections formed as a means of making sense of the world

 

All inquiries should be addressed to Arlene Leis, aleis914@gmail.com or Kacie Wills, kacie.wills@gmail.com

 

Essay abstracts of 500 words and 300 word abstracts for smaller case studies are due July 1, 2020 and should be sent along with a short bio to: kacie.wills@gmail.com and aleis914@gmail.com. Finished case studies will be due Oct 31, 2020, and long essays will be due December 1, 2020.

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