• Raquel Forner, Terráqueos en marcha, 1977

    Raquel Forner, Terráqueos en marcha, 1977

  1. 1

American Networks: Radicals Under the Radar (1868-1968)

Posted: 7 July 2016 by Sebastian Bustamante-Brauning

We’ve been collaborating with colleagues in the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies (LiFTS) at The University of Essex on American Networks: Radicals under the Radar (1868-1968).

On 11-13 July, staff from LiFTS are hosting an international interdisciplinary conference which will be held in London. We’re pleased to be sharing details of the conference with you including a full list of speakers. We will be producing video pieces using our artworks to illustrate the project aims and themes. The first video introduces the project and is illustrated with ESCALA artworks and narrated by Dr Jak Peake lead investigator of American Networks and a lecturer in the Department of Literture, Film and Theatre Studies at the University of Essex.

To register and pay the registration fee visit the LiFTS registration page


International Inter-Disciplinary Conference

Location: 1-4 Suffolk Street, London SW1Y 4HG
Date: 11-13 July 2016
Keynote Speakers

Professor Winston James, University of California
Professor Rhonda Y. Williams, Case Western University

American Networks: Radicals Under the Radar aims to challenge dominant narratives of artistic and political collaboration by investigating networks in the Americas which are often submerged ‘under the radar’ of conventional scholarship and examines the hundred-year period preceding 1968.

Pan-American and transnational in focus, the conference aims to investigate literary and artistic movements which are poorly served by strict linguistic and national boundaries. Artistic and political movements are never predicated upon ‘great’ individuals in isolation, but are always reliant upon networks. Across the Americas, affiliations between artists and radical thinkers have led to paradigm shifts that have changed world history. Communists, Wobblies, revolutionaries, socialists, Fabianists, Pan-Africanists, Pan-Americanists, revolutionaries, anarchists, political exiles and Garveyites all played their role in shaping American literature, art and politics.

Whether such networks exist in tangible social enclaves—homes, bars, cafés, galleries, offices or neighbourhoods—or in virtual form—an edited book—they inevitably draw together collaborators from different cultural, national and linguistic backgrounds. In American studies, scholarship on some of the most significant artistic movements of the twentieth century, such as Modernism and the avant-garde—which often combine artistic and politically radical components—has often been dominated by national, US-centric and Anglocentric paradigms.

Modernism in the visual arts of the Americas is often seen as having been initiated by the 1913 Armory Show in New York, which traded on its association with Europeans exemplars like Duchamp and Matisse. In Americanist scholarship more broadly, Caribbean, Latin American and Southern contributors are often overlooked in favour of their Northern counterparts. American Networks interrogates received wisdom about discourse on American arts and writing and is attentive to cultural geographies which are Pan-American, transnational and intercultural in nature.

Other confirmed speakers

Dr William Booth (University College London, University of London)
Dr Michael Collins (University of Kent)
Assistant Professor Jesús Costantino (University of Notre Dame)
Dr Steve Cushion (Retired)
Ian Dudley (University of Essex)
Professor Maria Cristina Fumagalli (University of Essex)
Dr Nick Grant (University of East Anglia)
Professor Peter Hulme (University of Essex)
Dr Richard McGuire (University of Kent)
Dr Jak Peake (University of Essex)
Dr Owen Robinson (University of Essex)
Dr Jordan Savage (University of Essex)
Professor Bill Schwarz (Queen Mary, University of London)
Professor Tim Youngs (Nottingham Trent University) 

Basic registration fees are £55 for those in full-time employment and £40 concession for those who qualify as part-time employees, students, low-waged and retired.

Please contact the conference organiser Dr Jak Peake by email jrpeak@essex.ac.uk for any further information. 

Leave a comment

Leave A Comment

Human identification process

browse the collection

artist a-z > work type > advanced search >