Call for papers

Nasher Prize Graduate Symposium

Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, TX, United States
Deadline: 10 December 2017

View of Theaster Gates, Tar Baby II, 2016. Styrofoam, Bondo, tar coloring, vinyl foil, fabric, 472 1/2 x 315 x 78 3/4 inches. © Theater Gates. Photo: Markus Tretter, courtesy of the artist.

View of Theaster Gates, Tar Baby II, 2016. Styrofoam, Bondo, tar coloring, vinyl foil, fabric, 472 1/2 x 315 x 78 3/4 inches. © Theater Gates. Photo: Markus Tretter, courtesy of the artist.

The Nasher Sculpture Center announces an open call for papers for the Nasher Prize Graduate Symposium, which aims to expand scholarship in the field of contemporary sculpture in its many forms. Submissions should address themes related to the work of the 2018 Nasher Prize Laureate, Theaster Gates.

Though best known for his architectural projects, such as Dorchester Projects (ongoing since 2008) and Stony Island Arts Bank (ongoing since 2015), for which the artist has restored abandoned buildings in Chicago and recast them as cultural centers, Gates approaches all aspects of his work from the perspective of an object-maker, with a strong focus on the material aspects of memory, history, and place. Gates has established a new paradigm for sculpture by joining together disparate methods of artistic production—the creation of discrete objects and the re-zoning, rebuilding, and reterritorializing of architectural spaces.

The annual Nasher Prize Graduate Symposium offers master’s and doctoral students from any academic discipline the opportunity to present scholarly work on a host of questions and topics related to each year’s new Laureate. Addressing a broad audience of art historians and museum professionals, participants will receive feedback from fellow presenters, an invited keynote speaker, and audience members. Students selected to present papers will also have their work published in the annual symposium compendium, together with the paper delivered by a keynote speaker.

Suggested topics* for the 2018 Nasher Prize Graduate Symposium: Theaster Gates
–Materiality in social practice art
–Representation, memory, and the memorial in contemporary art
–The artist’s role in community rebuilding
–Ethics and social practice art
–Object-making in the expanded field of sculpture
–Labor, craft, and contemporary art
–Material history, archives, and cultural preservation in contemporary art
–Black bodies in performance art
–Identity politics and art: Contemporary art after the 1993 Whitney Biennial

*Preference will be given to those papers that address Gates’s work directly.

Submissions may include, but are not limited to:
–Excerpt of an MA/MFA paper or thesis
–Excerpt of a seminar paper
–Excerpt from a dissertation

Complete proposals must include the following:
–A complete mailing address, e-mail address, phone number, field, and university affiliation of participant.
–Paper title and abstract of no more than 200 words that includes three to five keywords.

Proposals are due on December 10, 2018.
Send submissions and questions to More information can be found here.
Successful applicants will be notified on/around January 15, 2018.
With proof of need, eligible candidates may be considered for scholarship funding to offset travel costs.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is the presenting sponsor of the Nasher Prize. Founding Partners of the Nasher Prize are The Eugene McDermott Foundation and Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger. The Dallas Foundation is the Presenting Sponsor of Nasher Prize Celebration Month, with additional support generously provided by The Donna Wilhelm Family Fund. The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation is the Arts Youth Education Sponsor of Celebration Month. Media sponsors are Belo Media Group, KERA’s Art & Seek, and PaperCity.

Proposal deadline: December 10, 2017

Nasher Sculpture Center
2001 Flora Street
Dallas, TX 75201

Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm

T +1 214 242 5100

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