CFP: Museums, Exhibitions and the Representation of the International

European Workshops in International Studies (EWIS)

4th European Workshops in International Studies (EWIS) Cardiff, 07-10 June 2017


WS C: Museums, Exhibitions and the Representation of the International

Convenors: Audrey Reeves (University of Bristol) and Charlotte Heath-Kelly (University of Warwick)

Museums, memorials, and exhibitions are sites through which societies represent and enact the international. Historical museums document the history of warfare, often glorifying warrior masculinities and domesticated femininities. Ethnographic and maritime museums narrate colonial pasts and postcolonial presents. Memorials to the victims of terrorism, war, genocide and slavery naturalise narratives of resilience in the aftermath of disaster. Art exhibitions and biennales gather the international elite under the banner of culture, often showcasing provocative and controversial artists, but barely concealing the context of city marketing and urban regeneration.

As privileged sites for diplomatic visits, state ceremonies, and international tourism, all provide salient arenas for transnational communication on questions ranging from military intervention, migration, environmental protection, economy and global justice. However, museums, memorials and art exhibitions have generated little analysis within IR. To paraphrase Christine Sylvester, Art/Museums is where IR is least expected to be found. Building on an ISA 2017 panel convened by Lene Hansen and Cecelia Lynch, this workshop invites papers that interrogate these sites as political spaces and/or as opportunities to push forward theoretical debates in IR. We invite submissions that address, amongst other topics, the use of art-inspired methods in research on world politics; the politics of curation; the place of museums, galleries and memorials in economies of affect and emotion; relics and materiality, and the international political significance of the cultural realm.

Deadline for abstracts of 200 words or less is 30th Dec!

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