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Registration for the 2018 SAVAH conference is now open!

Registration for the 2018 SAVAH conference is now open! The registration form can be downloaded here (pdf). Please take note of the following:

  • Please transfer the money directly into the conference account or pay via credit card on arrival.
  • Email proof of payment together with the completed registration form to  and copy Ms. Esma Botha  into your email.
  • If you require an invoice, please contact Esma directly.
  • Please register before or on 18 June 2018.
  • The conference takes place in Stellenbosch, 4 – 6 July 2018.
  • For more information on the conference venue, visit the website of the Stellenbosch Insitute for Advanced Study (STIAS):
We look forward to seeing you all in July!

2nd Call for Papers SAVAH Conference 2017: Alternative and Current Visual Discourses in South Africa and the Continent

Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey, October 11, 2013 through March 9, 2014 at the Brooklyn Museum

SAVAH Conference 2017
Hosted by the Department of Fine and Applied Arts,
Faculty of the Arts, Tshwane University of Technology
21 – 23 September 2017

Alternative and Current Visual Discourses in South Africa and the Continent

Please download the call for papers with this link:

2nd_Call for papers 2017 SAVAH Conference

The advent of the post-colonial epoch in Africa during the mid-twentieth century ushered in a wave of revisionist and African-based theoretical prisms of seeing and reading the art of the continent, such as Negritude, Afrocentrism, Black Aesthetics and so on. Since their emergence, these theories or “registers of inquiry” (Taylor 2016) have dominated visual arts praxis as well as scholarly dialogues on the complex and vibrant aesthetics of Africa. Acknowledging their significance and building on these formative re-narrativisations of African artistic practice, the 2017 conference aims to explore more recent visual discourses in Africa, such as, but certainly not limited to, Afropolitanism, Post-Africanism, Post-Afrikanerism, Afro-Indianism, Afrotopianism and Afrofuturism. Paper presentations that engage with fresh and/or re-contextualised historiographies on creative African artefacts, ranging from jewellery to architecture and everything in betwixt, are specifically welcome.

Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey, October 11, 2013 through March 9, 2014 at the Brooklyn Museum

First Call for Papers – SAVAH Conference 2017. Alternative and Current Discourses in South Africa and the Continent.

SAVAH Conference 2017. Alternative and Current Discourses in South Africa and the Continent.

Hosted by the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, Faculty of the Arts, Tshwane University of Technology

Click this link to download the PDF: First call for papers 2017 SAVAH conference

Visual Arts and Art History Now: What? How? Why? – Annual Conference 2013 – Proceedings


Please click the link below to access the Conference Proceedings in PDF format:



Call for Papers – 29th Annual SAVAH Conference: Images and Media

Ms Pacman (

First Announcement: Call for Papers



University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, 3 – 5 July, 2014

Deadline: Friday 9th May

Keynote Speaker: Prof Laura Mulvey, Birckbeck, University of London

Second Keynote Speaker: Prof Annie van den Oever (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, University of the Free State)



The theme Images and Media aims to foreground the recent expansion of image studies and its relevance across disciplines in processes of knowledge acquisition and conveyance. In the era of the Bilderflut, or flood of digital images, there is a greater awareness that pictures, by making accessible what may otherwise be invisible, intervene in the production of knowledge and thereby are in a position to contribute to scientific, cultural and other changes. This expansion of the inter-disciplinary relevance of images is closely related to the renewed sensitivity for the material-technical foundations of image production in the era of “new media”. The conference thus envisions promoting and sharing an understanding of the widening scope of image studies, to include all types of images – inclusive also of the moving image – and to direct attention to imaging technologies. The aim is to reflect on foundational questions of image studies and the current expansion of the fields of art history and visual culture. This may have both a consolidating and broadening effect on thinking about images in South Africa. The focus on the media and material-technical processes by means of which images are (re-)produced and disseminated also brings up questions of the social relevance of images in specific contexts, both historical and contemporary.


Proposals are invited for these general themes:

1. Seeing and being seen: looking at spectatorship and issues of gendered identity in visual culture in South Africa and elsewhere.

2. The moving image as “Movens Bild”: moving image/moved viewer, the movement between image and viewer, performing images, images in process, the performance of images, fading images

3.  “A picture is worth a thousand words”: theorising what images are and do, image studies, philosophies of the image and ekphrastic discourses

4. From rock art to digital imaging: (re)mediation, medium and imaging technologies

5. The migratory and parasitic lives of images: how images move across bodies, cultures and times

6. Burning images and burning issues: analysing iconoclasms and “iconoclashes”, are art historians iconophobic and/or iconophilic (Bruno Latour)?

7.  “Show me so that I may understand”: envisioning knowledge, the thinking image, presenting presentation, how images generate and convey knowledge (e.g. in science, culture and education)

8.  “Images in spite of all”/“Images and the words that fail them”/“Can images kill?”: approaching traumatic images, the unspeakable and the unsaid

9. Space, place and emplacement: framing places in buildings, monuments, cities and visual art

Abstracts should be sent via email to  by Friday, 9 May 2014. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words in Microsoft Word or PDF format, and include your name, title, email address, academic position and affiliation. Please provide at least 5 keywords and state clearly in which section you would like to speak. SAVAH members may suggest new sub-sections if their research cannot be accommodated in the suggested panels. Successful applicants will be allotted 20 minutes to present their papers. Scholars, academics, and postgraduate students are encouraged to apply.


Organizing committee chair: Prof E.S. Human (University of the Free State)


The South African Visual Arts Historians (SAVAH) is an organisation of academics and professionals that seek to advance the professional practice of art history and visual culture in South Africa and to forge relations with practitioners from related disciplines and other regions.

The annual national conference, hosted each year by a South African university department of fine or visual arts, is the main academic and social event on the organisation’s calendar. The conferences, which are attended by delegates and guest speakers from South Africa and abroad, provide unique platforms for critical discussion of current research and visual arts practices in and about (but not limited to) the South African context. The conference provides a valuable platform for intellectual exchange, as well as building relationships between scholars, researchers, practitioners and members of institutions of higher education.



Cumulus Johannesburg: 2nd Call for Abstracts


Cumulus Johannesburg: 2nd Call for AbstractsDesign with the Other 90%: Changing the World by Design
Hosted by Greenside Design Center (GDC) and the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA) at the University of Johannesburg

Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, University of Johannesburg
Greenside Design Center (GDC)

22 – 24 September 2014
Johannesburg 26°12’16’S 28°2’44°E , South Africa
South Africa
Max number of delegates: 250
Max number of paper contributions: 54

Conference Theme
In 2007, the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum hosted an exhibition entitled ‘Design for the other 90%’ which
focused on design solutions that addressed the most basic needs of the 90% of the world’s population not traditionally served by
professional designers. In 2008, Cumulus members signed the Kyoto Declaration, wherein they committed themselves to the ideals of
sustainable development. The Cumulus Conference to be hosted by GDC and FADA seeks to bring discussions around the role art and
design can and should play in sustainable social advancement, particularly in the context of the African Continent. Focusing on
notions of respect, responsibility and sustainability, this conference seeks to explore the vital role that design, visual culture and
design education plays in addressing pressing problems of our planet, particularly for under-served communities that are rarely
benefactors of the work of artists and designers. It is envisaged that Africa’s distinctive capacity to respond to such problems will be

View the call for abstracts here:  2nd Call for Abstracts


Critical Thought, History and the Aesthetic Regime: Freedom and the Work of the Imagination. SAVAH Conference 2013 Keynote Address by Professor Anthony Bogues

Edouard Duval Carrie memoire sans histoire 2009

In a wonderfully engaging keynote address Professor Bogues discusses three topics: The relationship of aesthetics to the question of history; Artists creating visibility in their work; and how we can think about the work of the imagination and its creation of symbols. Professor Bogues made reference to the artwork of Haitian artist Edouard Duval Carrie, who he is currently writing a book on.

Please click the link below to listen to the keynote on SoundCloud:
SAVAH Conference 2013 Keynote