Graduate Student Symposium Call for Papers

“Everyday life invents itself by poaching in countless ways on the property of others.”

– Michel de Certeau

The Department of History of Art & Architecture, University of California Santa Barbara, is pleased to announce a one-day graduate symposium on Friday, May 4, 2018 on the topic of “Everyday Practices.” Art and architectural historians have frequently overlooked the everyday in favor of grand and canonical narratives. By emphasizing histories of power, the significance of the ordinary is often lost. Over the course of this conference we aim to reclaim the nuance and allusive nature of everyday life by addressing the mundane, the vernacular, the mass-disseminated, and other ordinary narratives.

We seek proposals that critically engage with the history, politics, sociality, and aesthetics of the everyday, from specialists working in any time period or geographical region in art and architectural history, or adjacent fields.

We ask, how has the everyday been expressed, transcended, (re)conceived, or opposed? How are everyday spaces created? What does everyday artistic practice and creativity look like? How does the consumption of visual and material culture inform the performance of everyday life? How have marginalized peoples navigated their daily practices within broader power structures? How do everyday practices (re)produce identity and discrimination? What kind of knowledge, expertise, and skills are generated within everyday practices?

Topics of Interest:

  • Depictions of ordinary life, including the mundane and boring The common place and common places
  • Vernacular architecture, language, and culture Folk art and architecture
  • Households and domestication Utilitarian objects and everyday use
  • Ritual, routine, habit, labor, and artistic practices
  • Dilapidation, decline, and slow-processes of ruination and regeneration Mass media and popular consumption in the public sphere
  • Routes, pathways, and movement
  • Everyday performances of race, class, gender, and sexuality Microaggressions and everyday discrimination
  • Alienation and counterculture
  • Embodiment, emotion, and bodily functions

Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words along with a one-page CV, to by January 15, 2018. Symposium presentations should be twenty minutes in length. We encourage applicants to include their working title and images. All participants will be notified by February 16, 2018.

Please feel free to contact symposium organizers Melina Gooray and Matthew Limb at with any questions.