The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

Non-GC Events

Call for Papers: The 10th Annual Wollesen Memorial Graduate Symposium, University of Toronto

The 10th Annual Wollesen Memorial Graduate Symposium


October 13–14, 2023, University of Toronto (in-person)

Deadline for Abstracts: Friday, June 23, 2023, at 5PM ET


What brings Walter Benjamin to conceptualize “messianic time”? What is time to a modern, imperial, and colonial power, and what is it to a contemporary multinational “Empire” that has spread across the planet in ever-increasing ways? Through what process do unfoldings or rhythms of temporality, Pierre Vidal-Naquet’s “divine time” and “human time,” diverge from or overlay one another? How does time operate in Fred Moten and Stefano Harney’s “Undercommons”—if it looks fugitive, is it ethical to define it? How does time’s orientation reverse its trajectory within moments of culture-shift, as in Francis Dunn’s “present shock”? From Alexander Nagel and Christopher S. Wood’s “anachronism” to Pamela Lee’s “chronophobia,” what gave/gives time its place in art history? How do tropes get appropriated, haunting generations of spectators? If there is “slow cinema,” can there be “fast cinema”? This symposium hopes to convene thoughts on time within a shared plane, recognizing the necessity for power struggles without reinforcing positions of temporal marginality or centrality.


The 10th Annual Wollesen Memorial Graduate Symposium Contretemps invites submissions that seek to address the multitude of times in and outside the history of art and visual culture, as well as those reflecting on our current moment that privileges divergence in temporal conceptions.


Submissions from students and scholars working in any period or region are encouraged. Contretemps welcomes both submissions that delve deeply into visual materials and those that provide theoretical insights in and across anthropology, archaeology, area studies, cinema and media studies, classics, critical race theory, cultural theory, geography, history of science and technology, literary studies, philosophy, and queer theory.


Submission Guidelines

Contretemps is hosted by the Graduate Union of Students of Art (GUStA) on the St. George campus of the University of Toronto, in Tkarón:to/Toronto, in cooperation with the Department of Art History. The two-day symposium, including a keynote lecture, will take place in person on October 13 and 14. Presentations are 15–20 minutes in length, grouped in panels with discussion sessions. Contretemps will be requesting submissions of completed manuscripts for publication in the symposium proceedings journal, The Wollesen. Further details will be announced closer to the symposium dates.


Please submit a 250-word paper abstract accompanied by a 100-word biographical byline in one file (.doc/.docx/.pdf) to the GUStA at by Friday, June 23, 2023, at 5 PM ET. The file should be named “[LAST NAME]_[FIRST NAME].” If you would like to submit a request for an organized panel session consisting of three papers, please ask all authors in the session to submit individual abstracts and bylines and send a separate email containing the names and email addresses of all speakers. Applicants will receive email notifications no later than Sunday, July 16, 2023, at 5PM ET.


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