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CALL. 06.08.2018: Art, Architecture, and the Environment in the Ancient Mediterranean and Near East


Below please find the details for a session that we are chairing at the annual College Art Association meeting that will be held in New York City from February 13-16, 2019.



LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: New York Hilton Midtown, New York (NY, USA)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Kristen Seaman (University of Oregon) Isabelle Pafford. CAA 107th Annual Conference.

INFO: PDF - Web -,


This session explores the environment’s relationship with the art and architecture of the ancient Mediterranean and Near East. The environment has played an important role in how ancient art and architecture were produced, experienced, and reconstructed. Artworks and buildings were carefully situated within their environments, and they often incorporated natural elements within their aesthetic experiences. At the same time, processes that enabled art-making such as forestry, mining, and quarrying changed the environment in ways that shape our response to the landscape even today. Destructions such as earthquakes and volcanoes also shaped the archaeological record and thus our knowledge of ancient art and architecture. Recent scholarship, including that relating to the interdisciplinary field of the Environmental Humanities, has helped to explore the relationship of culture and nature in the pre-modern world, indeed the study of the ancient Mediterranean and Near East has benefitted from such attention. This session invites papers that explore how makers, patrons, and viewers interacted with the ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern environment, broadly defined. Papers may consider such questions as: How were art and architecture situated within physical environments? How was the environment depicted in art? How did the production of art and architecture impact and/or exploit the environment? How did viewers of art and visitors to sites interact with the environment? What were the associations among the environment, art, and constructions of identity? And how have ancient environments been imagined in film, television, and/or new media? We especially welcome theoretically informed and interdisciplinary papers.

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