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CFP: Chinese Art Historiography

22 January 2013

The Journal of Art Historiography, a peer reviewed journal, ( is interested in producing a special issue on the question of how modern and contemporary Chinese art history (from 1840 to the present day) has been written, conceptualised and periodicised.

With the seemingly inexorable rise of China as a 21st century superpower, the study of Chinese art has become more topical than ever. Over the last two decades, the demand for Chinese art and antiques in the international arena has grown exponentially, and as of last year China has overtaken the US to become the largest art market in the world. In the field of academia, the critical terrain of Chinese art historical scholarship has also expanded. Increasing numbers of art historians from both within China and without have turned to dialogic, cross-cultural and inter-disciplinary methodologies to analyse and address the significance of modern and contemporary Chinese artistic practice beyond the detracting allure of its commercial value. Such developments are no doubt indicative of the changing shape of the art historical discipline itself as it evolves from a predominantly Euro-American discourse to one with increasingly global outreach and ambitions.

It is precisely at this crucial juncture in a dynamically changing field that in-depth historiographical examination becomes an especially pertinent and urgent endeavour. This special issue of The Journal of Art Historiography aims to stimulate new research – particularly archive-based research – into how modern and contemporary Chinese art history has been written, conceptualised and received both nationally and internationally. It seeks to foster critical dialogue between various generations of Chinese art historians, and will provide a unique opportunity for emerging scholars to make their voices heard. It will further extend the scope of its examination to historiographies of Chinese visual culture beyond traditional media, and will dismantle monolithic understandings of what constitutes ‘China’ by including historiographic research on artistic practice in Taiwan and the Chinese diaspora.

This special edition of the Journal engages with the broad thematic ‘TERMS’ – the provisional title of the 34th Congress of the International Committee of the History of Art to be held in Beijing in 2016.

Professor Shao Yiyang (Central Academy of Fine Art, Beijing) the guest editor of this special edition and the members of the Special Advisory Board invite proposals for articles and reviews on the subject, and suggestions for important texts and documents that might be included. Previously published articles that engage the historiography of Chinese art in discursive contexts outside the Anglophone world are welcome, and relevant articles will be translated.

Possible topics include (but are not limited to) the following:

– What methodologies and critical frameworks have been used to study Chinese art in both national as well as international contexts, and how these comparative frameworks been negotiated locally and globally.

– How the ‘canon’ has been constituted and how it has changed over time, and why some artists have received critical attention while others have been deliberately marginalised.

– The specific systems and institutions that govern art historical scholarship nationally and internationally.

– How effectively critical theory has been used to analyse Chinese artistic practice, and the pressures this brings to bear on the shape of art history as a global discipline.

– Debates on the critical function and efficacy of contemporary Chinese artistic practice and criticism within different socio-cultural, economic and political settings.

– The role of the museum, the market and the media in the development of Chinese art and scholarship.

– Historiographies of new media, performative, dematerialised and participatory art.

– The role of the curator, art critic and collector in Chinese art historical research.

– The critical utility of interdisciplinary approaches to the study of Chinese art.

– The translation of art historical and theoretical texts and its impact on Chinese artistic practice and reception.

– Pan-Asian historiography and how Chinese art is situated within regional discourses.

– The historiography of Chinese Academic art and critical analysis of the Chinese art educational system.

Previous editions of the journal can be viewed on its website ( for guidance on the Journal of Art Historiography’s focus and submission guidelines.

Proposals should be no more than 400 words long and are due 1st July 2013

Completed articles (4000-12,000 words inclusive of notes) are due May 1st, 2014. The publication date is June 1st, 2014

Please send proposals and suggestions to:

Associate Professor Shao Yiyang

Guest Editor, Journal of Art Historiography – Special Issue on Chinese art.

Associate Professor Shao Yiyang

Head of Western Studies

Art History Department, School of Humanities

Central Academy of Fine Art, Beijing

Dr Wenny Teo

Special Advisory Board member

Journal of Art Historiography – Special Issue on Chinese Art

Dr Wenny Teo

Manuela and Iwan Wirth Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Asian Art

The Courtauld Institute of Art

University of London, UK.

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