In the Wake of “In the Wake of the Global Turn”

This article looks back on the consequence, for a scholar of the art of the western canon, of a two-day conference held at the Clark Art Institute titled “In the Wake of the Global Turn: Propositions for an Exploded Art History Without Borders.” The author reflects on the pedagogical challenges of the ethical and political project of reimagining the limits of the discipline in both geographic and theoretical terms in order to accommodate issues of the untranslatable, incommensurable, and irresolvable when it comes to visual cultures from around the world. As well, the article touches on the ways in which attempts to “expand” the discipline through efforts at writing a global art history have merely reentrenched outmoded ideas about cultural power rather than dislocated the most limiting terms of art historical analysis.

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