Call for Papers: Parsons/Cooper Hewitt Graduate Symposium

Call for Papers: Design andDisplacement

The Twenty-Sixth Annual Parsons/Cooper Hewitt Graduate Student
Symposium on the History of Design

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York

April 6 and 7, 2017.

The challenges faced by vast numbers of migrants and refugees
worldwide—uprooted by war, persecution, or ecological crises or
relocating in search of economic opportunity—are giving rise to
innovative design solutions. Although often urgent, these crises are
unfortunately rarely new. This symposium attempts to take a broader
historical view of the relationship of design and decorative arts to
the displacement and movement of people and populations since the
Renaissance. From French Huguenot artisans emigrating to England in
the early 18th century to artisans exiled in the wake of the 1848
revolutions to the Bauhaus’ re-establishment after its dissolution by
the fascists to designers’ migrations all over the world, the movement
of populations has spurred great change in the cultural landscape,
including the creation of opportunities for new cross-cultural
synthesis. Migrations also inspire architectural solutions, such as
temporary housing for displaced persons during wartime or natural
disasters or more substantial interventions into the landscape, such
as buildings erected to accommodate the exponential growth of cities
like Lagos or Rio de Janeiro. Papers might consider historical or
contemporary designers or whole populations. The symposium also seeks
to address issues of national and transnational identity as well as
anti-immigrant sentiment.

Proposals are welcome from graduate students at any level in fields
such as art history, history of design, design studies, fashion
studies, history of the decorative arts, urban studies, cultural
anthropology, history of architecture, consumer studies, design and
technology, media studies, museum studies, food studies.

The symposium's Catherine Hoover Voorsanger Keynote speaker will be
Jeremy Aynsley, professor of design history at the University of
Brighton (UK) and chair of the Design History Society. Professor
Aynsley’s research interests concern late-19th- and 20th-century
design in Europe and the United States, with a particular focus on
design in modern Germany, which he has explored in major exhibitions
and academic publications including Nationalism and Internationalism
in Design in the 20th Century (1994), Graphic Design in Germany
1890–1945 (2000), and Designing Modern Germany (2009). He is
especially interested in the phenomenon of the migration of Modernism
and is currently working on a project about German graphic designers
in the United States on the eve of World War II.

The keynote address will be given on Thursday evening, April 6, 2017,
and the symposium sessions will be held in the morning and afternoon
of Friday, April 7.

To submit a proposal, send a two-page abstract, one-page bibliography,
and a c.v. to:

Ethan Robey
Associate Director, MA Program in the History of Design and Curatorial Studies

Deadline for proposals: January 23, 2017

The symposium is sponsored by the MA History of Design and Curatorial
Studies program, offered jointly by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design
Museum and Parsons School of Design.