Descriptions of Architecture and Interiors in Literature

Call for Papers / International Conference and Edited Volume
A Dialogue of the Arts: The Relationship of Exterior and Interior: Descriptions of Architecture and Interiors in Literature of Early Modern Times to the Present.  Institute of History of Art, University of Zurich  (October 23 – 24, 2014)
Co-ordination:  Barbara von Orelli-Messerli, PD Dr. phil. (UZH); Brigitte Kurmann, Prof. Dr. (UZH)
Submission Deadline:  28th February 2014
Notification of Acceptance:  31th March 2014
Working Languages:  English / German / French / Italian
Keynote Speaker:  Prof. Dr. Cornelia Jöchner, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Kunstgeschichtliches Institut
Call for Papers:  During the earlier conferences of 2010 and 2012, which dealt with “Descriptions of Architecture in Literature of Early Modern Times to the Present” respectively “Descriptions of Interior Design in Literature of Early Modern Times to the Present”, the third conference is devoted to the relationship of architectural interior and exterior aspects and this again relying on literature of different languages from Early Modern Times to the present. The first two conferences have shown us that literary descriptions of different times and languages witness the time in which they are written: They are on the one hand an important contribution for understanding the development of methods, on the other hand they can disclose new interdisciplinary dialogues. The presentations and the following publication of the foregoing conference have shown clearly that literary texts of different genres like prose, poetry, travelogues, diaries as well as letters and other categories are door openers not only for new art historian perceptions, but also can give hints to new methods of our discipline. This means not only the breaking up of the periodical conception of history of art, but also the architectural and spatial categories defined by history of art.
These are also the intentions of the third conference, dedicated to the relation of inside and outside of architecture in literary descriptions. How far and how deep literary descriptions can scrutinize the methods of art history and in which extent this will be possible. Furthermore the conference is interested in papers showing new perspectives for the discipline, being able to engage and continue new dialogues for the different shifts of time and genres. We particularly encourage the submission of proposals that crosscut cultural contexts, present diachronic perspectives or establish relationships between different universes.
Submissions for a 30-minute presentation and edited volume should be forwarded to the Scientific Committee, which will proceed to a peer review.  Submissions should be sent by email to  before 28th February 2014, with “CFP Dialogue of the Arts 2014” as subject message

  • The  abstracts should only include title and a maximum of 500 words.
  • The  abstract must be accompanied by a different file with a curriculum vitae (maximum: 1 page), that must include personal identification elements, the submission title, academic affiliation and a selection of a maximum of 5 bibliographic references
  • Notification of acceptance will be announced until 28th February 2014.

For further information please see:  Barbara von Orelli (Hg.): Ein Dialog der Künste. Beschreibungen von Architektur in der Literatur von der Frühen Neuzeit bis zur Gegenwart, Petersberg: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2012
Or send an email to

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