Mary L. Cornille (GRS’87)
Boston University Graduate Symposium in the History of Art & Architecture

Submissions Deadline: extended to January 10, 2024
Symposium will be held at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, on Friday, April 19, and Saturday, April 20, 2024


American maker once known, Crazy Quilt (1880-1890), pieced printed cotton plain weave. Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Museum purchase with funds donated from the Estate of Gretchen Stone Cook.


On the occasion of its 40th anniversary, the Mary L. Cornille (GRS’87) Annual Boston University Graduate Symposium in the History of Art & Architecture—the first of its kind in the United States—invites proposals for papers examining how the past continually reverberates throughout visual and material culture and the field of art history.

It is a truism that those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. And yet, in art and architectural history, as well as the humanities broadly construed, practitioners are reevaluating and, in some cases, dismantling the legacies of their origins. Many are returning to received narratives to ask: Whose stories have been left out? What roots have been overlooked in favor of those artists, scholars, or donors who were whiter, wealthier, and located in power centers of the art world? Meanwhile, artists are turning to tradition as inspiration over solely pursuing the new. Recognition of the iterative nature of art and art history has encouraged revisiting the past as a means to forge the future.

Possible subjects include, but are not limited to: art academies, workshops, schools, and studios; artistic mentorship and legacy; preservation and iconoclasm; institutional legacies; patronage and bequests; “artwashing”; collecting practices; restitution and repatriation; money as medium; time-based media; archives and the archival turn; history painting; mythology and folklore; chronology, categorization, and terminology; historiographic myths; critical fabulation; classicism; historicism; art exploring time; alternative time-scales; “traditional” in the contemporary; global modernisms; and futurism(s).

We welcome submissions from graduate students at all stages and from any area of study in the global history of art and architecture. Papers must be original and unpublished. Please email, as a single Word document: title, abstract (250 words or fewer), and CV to The new deadline for submissions is January 10, 2024. Selected speakers will be notified in February. Presentations will be 15 minutes in length, followed by a question-and-answer session and keynote lecture. The symposium will be held at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, on Friday, April 19, and Saturday, April 20, 2024.

For more information, please email

This event is generously sponsored by Mary L. Cornille (GRS’87).