Academic Session 2: Loughborough 2017

43rd Annual Conference & Art Book Fair
Loughborough University
6th to 8th April 2017

Art History as Créolité/Creolising Art History


Alpesh Kantilal Patel, Florida International University, Miami,

As part of the three-day workshop titled ‘Créolité and Creolization’, which took place on St Lucia as one of the platforms of Documenta 11 (2002), participants explored the genealogy of terms such as ‘creolization’ and ‘Créolité’, and their potential to describe phenomena beyond their historically and geographically specific origins (however slippery they are). Surprisingly, there has been little engagement with the potential of creolization as a way of doing or writing art histories differently since that time. This session aims to redress this lacuna.

Stuart Hall, one of the workshop participants, writes that what distinguishes creolization from hybridity or diaspora is that it refers to a process of cultural mixings that are a result of slavery, plantation culture, and colonialism. Yet, Martinican-born poet and theoretician Édouard Glissant notes that creolization can refer to a broader set of sociocultural processes not only in the Caribbean but also ‘all the world’ (Tout-monde). Drawing on Hall and Glissant, Irit Rogoff suggests that créolité can more broadly reference the construction of a literary or artistic project out of creolizing processes.

What would it mean to re-imagine art history as Créolité? The contributors to this panel attempt to answer this question in a variety of ways. Some papers explore the relationality of various regional art histories whilst others consider productive overlaps/tensions between creolization and theories of decoloniality and anthropophagy as well as queer theory. Also, papers mobilize Glissantian concepts such as opacity and entanglement and even consider artistic practice as a mode of investigating creolized/creolizing art histories.

Click here to download a .pdf of this session's paper abstracts

Nicola Foster (The Open University) The 'Opacity' of Contemporary Chinese Art Histories

Jacek J. Kolasinski (Florida International University) Exploring Polish and Haitian Art Histories as Entangled via a Studio-based Investigation of the Deity Elizi Dantò

Harper Montgomery (Hunter College) Longings for a Hybrid Art History in 1920s Latin America

Jane Chin Davidson (California State University, San Bernardino) The Glossary of Glissant: Chineseness, Decoloniality and the globalised field of art history

Alpesh Kantilal Patel (Florida International University) Creolizing Queer Transnational South Asian Art Histories