EVENT Mar 07
Abstract days left 0
Viewed 548 times

The Materiality of Resistance Symposium

San Francisco, CA
Organization: California College of the Arts
Categories: African-American, Colonial, Revolution & Early National, 1865-1914, 20th & 21st Century, Aesthetics, Cultural Studies, Film, TV, & Media, History
Event Date: 2024-03-07 to 2024-03-08 Abstract Due: 2023-08-15


Abstracts due: August 15, 2023

Notification expected: September 15, 2023

Advanced full draft of papers due: January 16, 2024

The Materiality of Resistance will be a two-day symposium (March 7-8, 2024) exploring the artistic deployment of materials as tools to imagine, promote, and enact resistance to the status quo in American art and visual culture. By invoking the word “material,” we throw into relief substances—unique and many, observable and nearly imperceptible—that are marshaled and transformed by makers into things perceived as significant, useful, and of value.

Hosted by the History of Art and Visual Culture (HAVC) program at California College of the Arts (CCA), and made possible with support from the Terra Foundation for American Art, the event will convene writers, artists, designers, curators, and archivists to consider historical and contemporary stories where the materiality of making contributes to socio-cultural change. With this call for papers, we solicit participation from transdisciplinary scholars and we strongly encourage intersectional as well as underrepresented topics. 

Reflecting the diversity of the San Francisco Bay Area we invite transcultural perspectives that interrogate, or challenge, the story of American art as one derivative of European precedents, and in so doing provide new pathways for telling and understanding hemispheric histories. 

We encourage participation from scholars of art history and related fields who are working on a broad range of questions, such as:

  • What has the materiality of resistance looked like in American art of the past, and how can our approach to materials (the tactile stuff of creation) shape a more just and sustainable future?
  • How have Indigenous Americans, diasporic peoples in the Americas, and immigrants to the Americas each resisted the loss of cultural traditions through the materials of their art?
  • Where have hybrid forms and approaches to materials emerged from encounters between groups, and how do we understand them?
  • Have the materials native to the Americas contributed to new directions in the arts that impacted American society in significant ways? 
  • How are artists in the Americas and makers attuned to climate change adapting their approach to materials to address and impact these pressing issues of the twenty-first century?
  • What is the role of North American arts education in creating fluency with material experimentation so that artists and makers can speak to the needs of the future through what they make?

The symposium will comprise lectures, panel discussions, exhibitions of archival materials and new works, as well as hands-on workshops on CCA’s San Francisco campus. It will be in-person, only, and participants must be able to travel to San Francisco, CA to participate. Following the symposium, we aim to publish a book with an edited selection of the presented papers. 

Please use the following linked form to submit an abstract of approximately 300 words by August 15, 2023:


Please address any specific questions to materialitysymposium@cca.edu

About California College of the Arts: Founded in 1907 by German cabinet-maker Frederick Meyer, CCA was created to provide education for artists and craftspeople that integrates both theory and practice in the arts. Throughout its 115+ years, CCA has evolved from an initial graduating class of 5 students, to an internationally-recognized learning-through-making arts college that attracts 1,700+ talented students from every state and 54 different countries each year into 34 academic programs. CCA prepares students for lifelong creative work by cultivating the values of innovation, community engagement, and social and environmental responsibility. 

CCA current and historical campuses are located in Huichin and Yelamu, also known as Oakland and San Francisco, on the unceded territories of Chochenyo and Ramaytush Ohlone peoples.


Elizabeth Mangini