19 October 2020

Opportunity Description

University of Birmingham
14 – 17 April 2021

The Association for Art History’s 47th Annual Conference will take place at the University of Birmingham. We are delighted to be working with the Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies towards delivering the 2021 Annual Conference for art history.

On the back of having to cancel the 2020 Annual Conference due to COVID-19, we are pleased to announce that many of the sessions that were scheduled to take place in April 2020 in Newcastle will now be incorporated into our 2021 Annual Conference programme. This means that our 2021 Annual Conference will now take place over 4 days and host 62 sessions – making it even bigger, and even broader than before. We hope that you will join us in Birmingham, either physically or digitally, in April 2021.


We are currently inviting paper proposals for 2021 sessions. Go to our 2021 Annual Conference pages for full session listings, information and FAQs.


The Annual Conference brings together international research and critical debate about art, art history and visual cultures. This key annual event is an opportunity to keep up to date with new research, hear leading keynotes, broaden networks and exchange ideas. The Annual Conference is open to all, but members of the Association receive discounted rates. Attracting around 500 delegates each year, the conference is popular with academics, curators, practitioners, PhD students, early career researchers and non-art historians engaged with art history research.


The Annual Conference reflects the Association for Art History’s commitment to a broad and inclusive art history for all. We therefore strive for a broad and inclusive range of sessions, across all areas of research and practice, including Medieval, Early Modern, and research that focuses on practice outside of Europe and North America.

Our 2021 Annual Conference in Birmingham aims to draw out the latest international research and debates within art history, curating and visual studies that will set the agenda for future scholarship in these diverse but inter-related fields. We are particularly interested in sessions that work across established boundaries, be they disciplinary, geographical or conceptual. We encourage session proposals that will invite broad paper proposals.

In keeping with the department’s reputation for research-led teaching, we also welcome sessions that explore issues of pedagogy and historiography in art and curating histories. Sessions that explore and debate the role of regional centres within art-historical and curating discourses are equally welcomed.


Birmingham connects us historically and contemporaneously to vibrant and often challenging art histories. From its Victorian status as the ‘workshop of the world’ and proximity to the Jewellery Quarter and the Potteries, to the world’s largest collection of Pre-Raphaelite art at Birmingham Museum and Art Galleries, a home for refugees from Nazism, the cradle of black British art in Wolverhampton, and socially-engaged contemporary arts organisations including Ikon and Grand Union, Birmingham is an exciting place in which to hold the 2021 Annual Conference. This location, with its varied body of artworks, practitioners and organisations will provide a stimulating environment for new encounters in art history, curating and visual cultures.

We hope that this conference will provoke new encounters with art histories, curating and visual cultures.

How to Apply

To submit a paper proposal, please fill out the proposal form (https://bit.ly/3eVYWZu)

Application details for each session: https://eu.eventscloud.com/website/2065/sessions-2021/