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Call for papers

We often hold conferences on a wide range of sculpture topics at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, Henry Moore Studios and Gardens in Hertfordshire, or with external partner venues.

Whenever we hold an open call for papers for a conference or event, the details can be found below. For more information please contact Clare Nadal, our Research Coordinator, or see our events section for all of our currently planned conferences and talks.

Differencing the Canon: Methods of Researching and Archiving Women's Sculptural Practices

The Hepworth Wakefield
Friday 23 September 2022

This symposium seeks to challenge the historical and curatorial deselection of artist-women and develop innovative and extended research methods that are attentive to more inclusive value systems. It seeks to build a fuller picture of the sculptural practices of women in all their diversity.

We welcome proposals for 20-minute presentations, including performative, video-based and conversational elements, or other formats. Topics could cover:

- Case studies of novel research methodologies (including oral histories, sociological and ethnographic based research, curating or archiving as research) which address intersectional and entangled histories and understandings of sculptural and artistic practices.
- How research may challenge hierarchical notions of materials, processes and forms of distribution, acknowledging the contribution of women to the expanded sculptural field.
- Case studies of innovative archival practices, methods and interpretation (e.g. digital, web-based, sound, social media, etc.)
-The politics of archives and the challenges of corrective collecting: questions of inclusion, exclusion and intersectionality.

Deadline to apply: Monday 4 July 2022

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Sculpture & Poetry

Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 February 2022

Medium-specific designations can seem anachronistic, even incoherent within the post-medium, post-digital, hybrid nature of both contemporary art and literature. Nonetheless, both sculpture and poetry have specific genealogies of practice and reception, and both are currently enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Why and how, at the present moment, might two of the oldest art forms have become the locus for some of the most radical practices?

Topics could include:

- Hybrid practices: poets who make/made sculpture, and vice versa; sculptors involved with editing and publishing poetry; poets involved with curatorial and art-historical work; critics and curators who focus on both
- Support structures for the production and reception of hybrid sculpture-poetry practices, including artist-led, small-press and DIY cultures, and from perspectives including publishing history and exhibitions history
- Translation and multi-lingual issues in the study and reception of such practices, including from curatorial and editorial perspectives
- Global Englishes and the notion of a lingua franca
- Sculpture-poetry hybrid practices and their reception beyond Euro-American contexts
- The impact of technological changes on hybrid practices and their reproduction or fabrication
- Histories of critical and theoretical innovations connecting poetics and sculpture studies
- Histories of innovative pedagogic and research projects (academic or extra-academic) that combined sculpture and poetry study

Deadline to apply: 26 November 2021

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New Voices: Sculpture & Literature

Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 October 2021

Sculpture and literature are often separated by a disciplinary divide but have also come together in works and ideas as wide ranging as monuments, poetry and performances. This conference will build on a growing body of scholarship exploring what can be gained from working at the intersection of sculpture and literature.

Topics could include:

- The relationship between sculpture and poetry / drama / fiction / non-fiction
- Sculpture and art criticism / art historical writing
- Depictions of sculpture in literature (ekphrasis)
- Sculptors who also work / worked as writers
- The influence of literature on sculptors / the influence on sculpture on writers
- The written and visual language of sculpture
- Literature as a sculptural form / sculpture as a literary form
- Relationships between sculpture and literature as impacting receptions or inciting reactions
- Sculpture made from literary materials
- Sculpture reflecting literary forms
- Translation practices between sculpture and literature
- Collaborations between writers and sculptors
- Monuments to literary figures
- Growing significance of libraries / books in artistic practices
- Citational practices (postmodernism)

Deadline to apply: 10 September 2021

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Valuing Sculpture: Contemporary Perspectives on Art, Craft and Industry, 1660-1860

Henry Moore Institute, Leeds
Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 July 2021

We invite proposals that consider how value judgements of sculpture were formed in the period 1660-1860 and their impact on the development of modern sculptural practices.

Topics could include:
- Individual vs collaborative making processes
- Relationships between sculptors, artisans, manufacturers and fabricators
- Commercialisation of manufacture
- Perceived vs actual value of materials
- Hierarchies of subject matter in sculpture
- Value of sculpture as determined by context
- Aesthetic vs commercial value of functional objects
- Definitions of decorative vs fine arts

Deadline to apply: 7 May 2021

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A Not Unruffled Surface: Contemporary Sculpture and Dress

Henry Moore Institute in collaboration with Piece Hall, Halifax
Friday 12 June 2020

We invite abstracts which examine and interrogate aspects of sculpture and dress in contemporary art, including:
- Situations, strategy and statement
- Technologies
- Survivalism and function
- Processes and making
- Dress as an allegorical device
- The anthropological
- Social histories and intersectionality
- Performance
- Activism

Deadline to apply: 6 January 2020

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Sense - Perception: Sculpture, Drawing and the Influence of Classicism

Saturday 12 October, Henry Moore Studios and Gardens, Hertfordshire
Friday 29 November, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds

We invite 300 word abstracts on the importance of drawing to sculptural practice, including:
- Representing lost origin(al)s
- The classical as a lens for the contemporary
- The incomplete drawing/the incomplete sculpture
- Fragmentation, recreation, renewal and restoration
- The (im)possibilities of the page
- Classicism in surrealist drawing practices
- Drawings of chance and contingency
- The space of the drawing and the architecture of the gallery
- Drawing as mediation
- The changes in the sculptors' drawing curriculum
- Sculptor's drawings and the art market
- Sculptural thinking through drawing: negotiating three dimensions in two

Deadline to apply: 7 June 2019

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ORDER‽ Art, Classicism, and Discourse, from 1755 to Today

Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, United Kingdom
15-16 November 2019

We invite submissions of 250-300 words from scholars and artists at every career level for papers on topics involving classicism and art from 1755 to today, including:
- Gendered uses of classicism in art
- Queer classicisms
- Non-Western classicisms
- Contemporary art practice and uses of 'classicism'
- Problematic or challenging 'classical' objects
- Canon and canonising
- The classical/anti-classical and politics
- Nationalism, internationalism and empire
- Narrative, title and text as ordering principles

Deadline to apply: 15 April 2019

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New Sculptors, Old Masters: The Victorian Renaissance of Italian Sculpture

Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, United Kingdom
Friday 8 March 2019

We invite proposals for twenty-minute papers exploring how nineteenth-century sculptors and critics directly encountered Italian Renaissance sculpture, in its broadest sense, through public and private collecting in Britain as well as travel on the Continent.

Deadline to apply: 30 November 2018.

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New Directions in the Study of Medieval Sculpture

Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, United Kingdom
Friday 16 March - Saturday 17 March, 2018

This two-day conference seeks to assess and critique the state of the field on medieval sculpture and to investigate new directions, approaches and technologies for research.

Deadline to apply: 30 September 2017

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