CFP: A Dialogue of the Arts (Zurich, 20-21 October 2016)

„A Dialogue of the Arts: Reinterpreting Architectural Structure and its Description in Literature of Early Modern Times to the Present“
Zurich, 20. – 21.10.2016
Deadline: April 30, 2016
Institute of History of Art, University of Zurich
Barbara von Orelli-Messerli, PD Dr. phil. (UZH)
Working Languages:
English / German / French / Italian
University of Zurich
Keynote Speaker:
Hubertus Günther,
Prof. em. University of Zurich and  actually
Ludwig-Maxilmilians- Universität Munich
Project Description:
The project „A Dialogue of the Arts“ is a long-term concept, which includes Early Modern Times to the present and this for all places, exploring the possibilities of widening and enriching the methods of History of Art. The papers presented at this biannual conference are subsequently published.
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” and the conference of
2014 „The Relationship of Exterior and Interior: Descriptions of Architecture and Interiors in Literature of Early Modern Times to the
Present”, the fourth conference, which will take place on 20th and 21st October 2016, is devoted to „Reinterpreting Architectural Structure and
its Description in Literature” and this again relying on literature of different languages from Early Modern Times to the present. The past
three 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 in art history, on the other hand they can
disclose new interdisciplinary dialogues. The presentations and the following publication of the foregoing conferences 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 the discipline. This means not only the
breaking up of the periodical conception of art history, but also the architectural and spatial categories which defines it.
These are also the intentions of the fourth conference and this by the fact, that architectural treatises and architects themselves rarely or never consider a reinterpretation of buildings, giving them strict functions. But there are exterior observers, inhabitants and even visitors which can observe new functions of a building never thought by its conceiver. Fixed in literary texts, the new functions can be described as well as analyzed and in this way contribute to new methods and methodology for art history. It is the goal of this fourth conference to check out how far these new proceedings can influence traditional methodology and promote new methods. Therefore, 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 the edited volume should be forwarded to the Scientific Committee.
Submissions should be sent by email to with „CFP Dialogue of the Arts 2016” 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 Mai 2016.
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
Barbara von Orelli (Hg.): Ein Dialog der Künste. Beschreibungen von Innenarchitektur und Interieurs in der Literatur von der Frühen Neuzeit
bis zur Gegenwart, Petersberg: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2014
or send an email to

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