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Summer 2024 ACAH Reading Group

What Is Planetary Art History?

by Feng Schöneweiß
Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut

Art historians have long noticed the entanglement of art and its ecological surroundings. As a profession and a community, how do historians of Chinese art address ecological crises and climate changes? How could we make sufficient use of the research output in geophysical science and environmental humanities to assist art-historical analyses? How does recent works in planetary boundaries inform the studies of visual and material culture? This reading group invites participants to explore the emerging field of planetary art history. Selected readings will encourage members to consider non-human (e.g. animals, plants, minerals) and beyond-human agency (e.g. climatic factors or geophysical forces), in connection and interaction with human agency, in the making of art, cultural objects, and built structure in China or Chinese diaspora.

The China Project Workshop

The China Project Workshop, founded in 2011, is open to anyone interested in premodern Chinese art or archaeology. It takes place monthly at the Institute of Fine Arts, 1 East 78 Street. The Workshop meets eight times each year, from September to December and February to May, attracting on average an audience of around 40 people. Presentations are usually in English but are occasionally in Chinese.

Visual and Material Perspectives on East Asia Workshop

The Visual and Material Perspectives on East Asia Workshop (VMPEA) is oriented toward the study of visual and material objects, built environments, and the relationship between text and image from East Asia. It explores a plethora of visual and textual materials across a variety of historical periods and geographic locations in order to understand socio-political, cultural, and historical aspects of China, Japan, and Korea. While being based in art history, the Workshop is committed to interdisciplinary inquiries and perspectives, including but not limited to archaeology, anthropology, architecture, literature, religious studies, cinema and media studies, and museum studies.