New Geographies of Feminist Art: China, Asia, and the World, an international conference conceptualized and organized by Sonal Khullar (Assistant Professor, Art History) and Sasha Welland (Associate Professor, Anthropology and Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies), was held at the University of Washington from November 15-‐17, 2012. The conference brought together twenty-‐eight scholars, curators, and artists from around the world to discuss the practice, circulation, and cross-‐cultural significance of feminist art from Asia. It aimed to reorient scholarly discussion from Western to nonwestern art world centers such as Beijing and Delhi, Taipei and Tokyo, Hong Kong and Hanoi, Seoul and Shanghai, Guangzhou and Jakarta, by examining the role of women artists, the history and future of feminism, and the visual representation of gender and sexuality. It intervened in traditional approaches to art history and area studies through its notion of “new geographies” as a mode of thinking relation across spaces that are conceived as unrelated, and its notion of “feminist art” as a field of practice that incorporates artists, critics, academics, curators and audiences. Feminism emerges, by this account, as an epistemology rather than an event, an epistemology in which thinking relationally, in terms of social hierarchies, aesthetic form, and ideology, is foundational. China, Asia and the World emerge as horizons of possibility rather than bounded territories and geopolitical realities. Conference panels and roundtables were organized around six interlocking themes—the city and the country; art markets and art worlds; sites and structures—to rethink dominant narratives of feminist art. Official registration totaled 209, with 177 attending the keynote and an estimated 130 participants attending panels and roundtables, including graduate students and scholars who traveled nationally and internationally.
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