British Art and Natural Forces: A State of the Field Research Programme

This multi-part programme of research events focuses on the encounter between artistic and art-historical practice and the forces of the natural world. It places such encounters in both contemporary and historical perspectives.

In doing so, it aims not only to respond to the exigencies of the current moment, but to foreground some of the most vital activities and conversations taking place within the field of British art studies: In recent years, scholars have concentrated with new intensity on the overlaps between artistic, geophysical, biological and ecological bodies of knowledge.

The series speaks to many of the new interdisciplinary collaborations that are currently shaping art-historical practice, where scholars of the visual arts are working across different subject-fields to explore natural histories, indigenous forms of knowledge, animal studies, concepts of the post-human and revitalised theorisations of the sublime.

It foregrounds the astonishingly rich and diverse representations of natural forces found throughout the history of British art. The programme will explore such representations in the light of current debates and theoretical frameworks, and with the acknowledgement that human agency and reflexive awareness are natural forces in their own right.

Geomorphic Forces seminar

Papers by Caterina Franciosi, Stephanie O’Rourke, Joe Kerr, and Tobah Aukland-Peck.

Plants, Animals seminar

Papers by Lauren Cannady, Jeremy Melius, and Laura Ouillon.

Authors of Architecture seminar

Papers by Freya Wigzell, Euan McCartney Robson, Alicia Weisberg-Roberts, and Jonathan Hill.

Apocalyptic Conjunctures: The Weather of Art History

Keynote paper by Andrew Patrizio.

Observations, Meteorology

Papers by Mark Cheetham, Benjamin Pollitt, Sarah Gould, and Nicholas Robbins.

Observation and Diagnosis: Pathologizing Bodies, Medicalizing Space in the British Empire

Keynote lecture by Anna Arabindan-Kesson

Decolonial Agencies

Papers by Holly Shaffer, Bergit Arends, Eleanore Neumann, and Giulia Smith.

Racial Capitalocene: Ecology and Abolition

Keynote paper by T. J. Demos

Curating the Sea

Papers by Pandora Syperek, Sarah Wade, Stefanie Hessler, and Miranda Lowe.

Affective Proximities

Papers by Jessica Carden and Tiffany Boyle.

Unstable Boundaries, Ecologies

Papers by Siobhan Angus, Laura Franchetti, Thomas Hughes, Evelyn Whorrall-Campbell, and Luca Beisel.

Final Panel Discussion

Participants include Andrew Patrizio, Anna Arabindan-Kesson, Mark Cheetham, Temi Odumosu, Lucy Whelan, Giulia Smith, Pandora Syperek, and Sria Chatterjee.