About

This two-day event will explore the medium of collage across a three-hundred-year period. While research on collage plays a key role in histories of modern art, particularly of the 1920s and 1930s, its broader significance is often overlooked within art historical scholarship. Though many scholars have approached specific examples of collage within their time and political landscape and some have made attempts to retell the medium’s history, these have ultimately failed to be fully inclusive of all its forms and temporal variants. This symposium aims to tackle this oversight by thinking about collage across history, medium, and discipline. Employing an inclusive definition of the term, the symposium will invite papers discussing a variety of material and literary forms of collage, such as paper collage, commonplace books, grangerized texts, decoupage, quilts, shellwork, scrapbooking, and photomontage. The symposium will situate histories of modernist collage in relation to a much broader range of cultural practices, allowing for productive parallels to be drawn between the artistic, material, and literary productions of periods that are often subject to rigid chronological divisions. Reciprocally, it will encourage those working on collage in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to utilise key concepts and methodologies adapted from the study of modernism, such as the objet trouvé or assemblage. The symposium is supported by Edinburgh College of Art’s Dada and Surrealism Research Group (DSRG) in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Advance Studies in the Humanities.

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