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Crossroads: East and West


Cultural Contacts, Transfers and Exchange between East and West in the Mediterranean




Submission deadline:

April 15th, 2015


Deadline for applications prolonged until April 22nd!





Proposals should include name, contact information (address, phone number,

e-mail), title of the paper and an abstract.


Abstracts in English of maximum 400 words.





by e-mail to:


or send by post to: 

Art History Module

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Split

Hrvojeva 8

21000 Split



(with the note "Conference for PhD students")



The theme of the conference addresses regions of Europe and Middle East which, in Classical Antiquity, made part of both “East” and “West”. Exoticism has been a fundamental part of western perception of “East” from the time of Herodot who in the Histories, for example, depicts Scythians as bloodthirsty barbarians. This ambivalent relation towards foreign and exotic nations has persisted from the Classical Antiquity throughout Renaissance well into the Modern era.


The East-West dichotomy can be recognized in cultural influences between East and West through studying interdependence of East and West in the Mediterranean, as well as through their standoffs in the history of art practices. The conference will deal with cultural contacts, exchange, relocations and social trends that enabled creation of complex concepts and idea-networks throughout history. The symposium also questions the ways in which “West” has exoticised “East” as well as the ways in which “East” has perceived “West”, through the prism of postcolonial and cultural translation theories.


The international conference is intended for PhD students and recent PhD graduates from different fields of humanities and social sciences, who are hereby invited to participate.

The proposed topics for interdisciplinary discussions are:


Orientalism in European art and culture

• Europe and Byzantium: Ex Oriente lux et luxus

• Venice and Constantinople: competition, emulation and/or imitation, mythography

• Europe and Ottoman Empire in early Modern Age: between exoticism and demonization

• Orient in culture and art of European Romanticism: images and myth of Orient (fine arts, archaeology, literature, philosophy and music)

• The Middle East in European paintings, prints, book illustrations and crafts from Romanticism to the beginning of 20th century

• Oriental forms in 19th and 20th century western architecture

• European travellers and artists in the East: exchange of ideas, concepts and art practices

• Curating and exhibiting art from Eastern Europe


Meeting points: intersections, syncretisms, conflicts between East and West in the Balkans

• Byzantine Empire and foundations of regional art centres in the Balkans since Late Antiquity until the end of the Middle Ages

• Struggle for ecclesiastical supremacy between Rome and Constantinople – interactions between Orthodox and Catholic Christianity, influence on arts, visual expression and iconography

• Venice and the Balkans in the late Middle Ages and the early Modern Age: conflicts, coexistence, cultural and artistic dialogue

• Ottoman invasion of the Balkans: impact on culture and art, Ottoman discourse, establishment of transcultural forms in contact regions, assimilations and cultural hybrids

• The twilight of political and cultural powers (Ottoman Empire, Habsburg Monarchy, Venetian Republic) and creation of new national states: art as reflection of political and national interests (nationalization and ideologization of art)

• The image of Turks in the art and culture of the Western Balkans and Central Europe (visual, historical, literal, ethnographic and cultural-anthropological aspect)


East and West in the age of globalization

• Ideologies, ideological discourses, mythologemes and their artistic representations and functions

• Western stereotypes of Middle Eastern culture and arts: their genesis, influences and transformations

• Artistic concepts and theories of art

• Contemporary artistic and architectural trends: elements of tradition, modern and global

• Contemporary perception of Islam in art: historical, political, religious, cultural; artist-audience interaction

• Contemporary art practices, literature, cinematography and popular culture: East-West encounters, coexistence and antagonisms

Organising committeeIvana Prijatelj Pavičić, Marina Vicelja Matijašić, Tine Germ (co-chairs);

Iva Brusić, Gašper Cerkovnik, Martina Malešič, Katra Meke, Ivana Meštrov, Dalibor Prančević, Petra Predoević Zadković, Ines Unetič, Ivana Nina Unković, Asta Vrečko, Miha Zor 

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