Call for Paper

Workshop 2016


Border Crossings: Migration Arts and Arts of Migration. Grenzüberschreitung: Migrationskunst und die Kunst der Migration

AG Kunstproduktion und Kunsttheorie im Zeichen globaler Migration des Ulmer Vereins für Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften | Art production and art theory in times of global migration, Ulmer Association for Art- and Cultural Sciences


Date:  January 14–16, 2015

Location: Heidelberg, Center for Transcultural Studies, University of Heidelberg

Organisation: Cathrine Bublatzky, Christiane Brosius

This workshop encourages a critical engagement with multiple forms of migration and the artistic practices these movements create, or even enforce. While the meaning of the phrase ‘migration’ changes in relation to the historical, geographical and social circumstances, various other phrases need to be taken into account in order to verify particular movements and existential experiences of those people who are affected by times of crises and insecurity. Lines between exodus, expulsion, exile, or labor migration need to be carefully drawn when research approaches any forms of artistic responses to human movement activities. Artists and their aesthetic ways to engage with times of crisis such as war, natural catastrophes, social or economic upheaval, and political instabilities play thereby various roles as their visual practices might help to express, document, or expose individual and collective experiences of human tragedy, resettlement, and trauma. Because the relation of art practices and contexts matter for investigating ‘migration’, this workshop wishes to foster an interdisciplinary discussion about specific ‘transitory’ spaces (e.g. in art institutions, studios or even border zones) and its agents.

In relation to the subject-related topic of social practices of border crossing and the role of artists and art within the larger context of migration studies, this workshop will critically address the methodological dimension in those studies. Applied to individual research topics, we want to reflect on the analytical usage and qualities of concepts such as ‘transculturality’, ‘transnationality’, ‘translocality’, ‘transaesthetics’ or ‘critical transregionality’ as they seem to facilitate further analytical fine-tuning. Even though each of them takes a different hermeneutic and methodological starting point with respect to the framing of ‘culture', ‘locality' or ‘aesthetics’, they align in considering ‘migration’ and ‘border crossing’ as significant emblem in the field of art and cultural studies.  

Please send your suggestions for short contributions (10 - 15 min) including title and content description (50-70 words, in English or in German) to Cathrine Bublatzky ( and/or Christiane Brosius ( until Nov 15, 2015.