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2019 Conference—New York

AHAA Sponsored Session at CAA

College Art Association Annual Conference in New York, NY, February 13—16, 2019

The CAA 2019 Call for Participation (CFP) for accepted Sessions Soliciting Contributors will be posted on the CAA Annual Conference website the first week of July 2018. Submissions will be accepted for review through August 6, 2018.

Beginning the first week of July, single paper or project submissions in response to the CFP should be sent directly to the session chair(s)—if there is more than one session chair, send materials to both chairs. Proposals should include a proposal form (found at the end of the CFP), an abstract of your presentation, a cover letter to chair(s), a shortened CV, and work documentation (if necessary).

Other Phenomenologies in American Art

Thinking about the body as a source of knowledge has had a salutary effect on the field of American art. Recent studies have been constrained, however, by the framework of continental philosophy, and its admittedly influential genealogy of phenomenology. In this panel, we invite contributors to ask what other forms of bodily knowledge have been mobilized throughout the history of American art? How can earlier figures in philosophy and pre-Freudian psychology, including John Dewey, William James, or the British associationist psychologists, help us uncover the range, forms, and tensions of other phenomenologies within a broad range of practice? How might other traditions, ranging from indigenous epistemologies to contemporary theoretical stances coming from feminism, queer studies, or ecocriticism, invite us to reconsider American art history in terms of bodily knowledge? What contributions are made by performance theory, body techniques, and bodily practice to our understanding of material objects, including works of art? We seek bodies of scientific knowledge, lived experience, and/or religious beliefs that can that help us recover the corporeal intelligences available before or outside the philosophy of Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, Camus, etc. We welcome case studies, but also encourage submissions that consider methodological or theoretical models more broadly.

Catherine Holochwost (, Louise Siddons (

Catherine Holochwost received her Ph.D. in American art and architecture from the University of Delaware, and serves as an assistant professor of art history at La Salle University. Her current book project, Unruly Pleasures: The Embodied Imagination in Antebellum American Art and Culture reveals a new history of the imagination, told through its engagement with the body. Although informed by later philosophers like Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Elizabeth Grosz, the book locates phenomenological knowledge in period discourses deriving from aesthetics, medicine and body reform, optics, empiricist philosophy, and associationist psychology. It builds on a 2013 article in American Art that examined hapticity and sensuousness in Asher B. Durand’s engraving and painting Ariadne, particularly in the context of the global cholera epidemic of 1831-32. Another article nearing completion considers female muses in the work of Washington Allston and Samuel F. B. Morse in light of Protestant soteriologies of enfleshment and palpability.

Louise Siddons (Ph.D. Stanford University, currently associate professor of art history at Oklahoma State University) is an historian of American and Native American art and visual culture, including histories of social dance. Her interest in phenomenology and experiential knowledge has informed her teaching and research, as is evident in publications ranging from an early case study of using dance to engage students with the history of American art and architecture, to her recent book, Centering Modernism, which considers the intersections between early twentieth century phenomenological-spiritual theories of abstraction, the materials of experimental printmaking, and the landscape of the Midwest in the work of J. Jay McVicker. Her most recent research considers traditional Navajo concepts of knowledge as/and landscape in the context of sovereignty politics and the photography of Laura Gilpin.