Circulaire #33

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Last month, Sophie Cras (Assistant Professor, Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne) and Emmanuel Guy Assistant Professor, Parsons-Paris The New School) organized the EPCAF panel at the annual conference of the College Art Association that took place in New York. The panel which featured Nicolas Ballet (Institut National d’Histoire de l’art, Paris), Angela Bartholomew (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam), and Sara Blaylock (University of California, Santa Cruz) was, as I heard from many of you, a great success. We want to thank Sophie and Emmanuel for putting together such a wonderful session.


During CAA, Lily Woodruff also ran the EPCAF business meeting. We are grateful to those who attended the meeting and shared with us their ideas and visions for the group. This conversation will be very helpful in defining EPCAF’s strategic plan for the coming years. The minutes of the business meeting, along with the minutes of the CAA’s Affiliated Societies can be accessed.


Over the past few years, EPCAF has also organized a panel at the annual meeting of the Southeastern College Art Conference. For the 2017 SECAC Conference, which will take place at Columbus College of Art & Design on October 25-28, I am organizing a panel on European postwar abstraction. See below for more details on the panel, the conference (including all the other panels), and how to apply.



Catherine Dossin




EPCAF’s at SECAC: Call for Paper:


“Art, a language that should unite:” The Diversity of European Postwar Abstractions

In the catalogue of the 1948 Venice Biennale, Giovanni Ponti declared: “Art invites all mankind beyond national frontiers, beyond ideological barriers, to a language that should unite it in an intense humanism and a universal family against every Babel-like division and dissonance.” After five years of brutal conflicts and the mounting threat of the Soviet Union, the Western world was indeed in dire need of unity and solace. In this context, abstract art was often presented in the West as a universal language able to overcome national divisions and unite humankind.

But could abstract art have overcome the divisions engendered by the Second World War and the Cold War? Could American Abstract Expressionism have served as the West’s shared language against Soviet Social Realism? Even if abstraction dominated Western postwar art scenes, didn’t it assume different forms and meanings on each national scene? All the more so, since the interruption of international artistic exchanges during the War had led to independent and singular artistic developments.

Taking on these questions, this panel seeks to question the myth of abstract art universality by showcasing the diversity and richness of European postwar abstract practices that the triumph of American Abstract Expressionism has eclipsed.


73rd SECAC Conference

Columbus, OH October 25-28, 2017

Deadline: April 20, 2017







Dear EPCAF members,

EPCAF held a business meeting at the College Art Association conference in New York this past February 2017. Here are a few comments addressing questions that came up in the meeting, along with the EPCAF meeting minutes, and items from the CAA Affiliate Societies business meeting that may be of interest.

In 2017-2018, EPCAF will undergo a transformation in leadership and governance. In June, the counselors will vote on new by-laws, and in the following year it will be time for several of the counselors to step down from their current positions, which are limited to 2 year periods. This means that we will be looking for new people who are interested in helping to shape the future of EPCAF.

The book that Catherine has edited, Remapping France, will be print-on-demand by our publisher, AC Institute. The books will cost about $30 or $400, but a free copy of each will be provided to each author. If it is out in time, there will be a launch for it at the colloquium that EPCAF is organizing in Paris in June.

EPCAF meeting minutes
College Art Association conference, 2017

New York, NY

Meeting called to order at 12:15pm

In attendance: Rosemary O’Neill, Martina Tanga, Adrian Duran, Rebecca DeRoo, Lily Woodruff

Scribe: Lily Woodruff

It was suggested that we should recruit more members who work on Eastern Europe.

We should create a business card for EPCAF that we can distribute to people whom we think might like to join.

Regarding Remapping France, it was suggested that there should be a launch party at CAA 2018 in LA.

There were questions about its distribution, and whether or not it would be distributed to major international libraries. It was asked if there would be will there be free books for the authors. Some authors may have promised copies to people that provided resources, such as images. Will authors have to purchase their own copies? Will the book, or parts of it be open source? Doing so could be good for promotion.  How much will the book cost?

It was discussed that in the future we might seek to publish with a press that offers wider distribution, advertising, and a table at book fairs such as that at CAA. Those suggested were Bloomsbury, Taylor Francis, Purdue.

Future book topics might include: books on transnational subjects, such as Europop, Europe in the 1980s (perhaps Emmanuel and Sophie would be interested in organizing this?).

Grants for future publications might potentially come from the Alliance Française, Italian Cultural Institute, French Ministry of Culture. We could learn more by asking the Seelangs listserv, whose members are professional translators.

It was proposed that it would be nice if the books could be translated into other languages, in particular the languages of countries that form the subject of certain books.

We should get more involved with Italian Art Society and Center for Italian Modern Art (CIMA), which runs study days on subjects such as the Italian postwar period. Adrian will take care of this.

Would we want to charge fees for EPCAF membership? It is standard among affiliate societies. Fees could pay for things like publicity, book launches, prizes, CAA affiliate

We would like to perform data analysis on our members so that we can see what our target research areas are, and where we could stand to expand.

According to the bylaws, it is time for some of the EPCAF leadership to turn over. We will need to nominate members take on these roles.

Meeting adjourned at 2:15pm

CAA Affiliate Societies business meeting notes:

The Affiliate Society program began in 1978. There are currently 85 Affiliate Societies. There are 9,700-10,000 individual members of CAA (there was a decline in membership after 2008).

Affiliate Societies with fewer than 100 members pay $55 in dues annually.

At the 2017 CAA conference there were 25 business meetings, 46 affiliate panels, and 250 academic sessions total. This is 40% more than last year because the sessions are shorter (90 minutes instead of 150).

If they wish, Affiliate Societies may use their business meetings as second panels, although it is undecided whether or not the time slot would be labeled as anything other than a “business meeting.” The possibility of using the name of the Affiliate Society in a second accepted panel was discussed.

It is possible that there could be theme groupings (such as 1968) at future conferences. We can write to CAA (specifically Elizabeth Schlatter to let CAA know that we would like to see thematic groupings. Otherwise, the preponderance of panel proposals on certain themes will demonstrate interest.

In the future there may be panels on Sunday, into the evenings, possibly as late as 10pm. They are talking about shortening time between sessions to 15 minutes.

They plan on bringing together clusters of affiliate societies, and facilitating online meetings among them. They are hoping to do this by next October. This will involve including an affiliate representative on the CAA board.

CAA needs to know which of our affiliate society members are CAA members. Website redesign will include a stronger presence of affiliates.