conference poster cover photo

Narrative Interventions

March 4-5, 2016

The Fourth Annual Carleton University Art History Graduate Students’ Society Conference

Not only are the large majority of verbal texts narrative, it is also obvious that verbal texts are not the only objects capable of conveying a narrative. Language is just one medium, perhaps the most conspicuous one, in which narratives can be constructed. Images, as the tradition of history painting demonstrates, can do so as well, not to speak of mixed media like film opera and comic strips. I began to wonder if the exclusive focus on language in the study of narrative didn’t limit the range of observations in a somewhat arbitrary way.
-Susan Stewart, “Telling Objects: A Narrative Perspective on Collecting,” 99.

The Carleton University Art History Graduate Students’ Society (AHGSS) presents Narrative Interventions, it’s fourth annual conference to be held on March 4th and 5th, 2016. We invite graduate students in all disciplines to propose papers that extend the theme of narrative beyond the verbal and to consider the construction, contestation and reinscription of narratives in all cultural forms according to personal, political or theoretical motivations. Narrative is a flexible and encompassing noun imbued with a sense of authority, while “to narrate” is an active verb that captures the agency involved in storytelling and the power of narration as a site of repetition or alternative intervention. Our conference aims to explore the multilayered and sometimes intangible nature of narratives through presentations pertaining to broad areas of cultural studies including, but not limited to, visual culture, performance, music and history.

Narrative Interventions – Information PDF

Join us on Saturday March 5th for an exciting day of panels and discussion exploring the construction, contestation and re-inscription of narratives in all cultural forms, followed by a keynote address by Dr. Charmaine Nelson of McGill University.
Location: 2017 Dunton Tower.
Registration and Panels: 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Keynote: 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Refreshments will be provided
Open to the public.

Those interested are also invited to join us on Friday March 4th for an Indigenous walking tour around downtown Ottawa with Jamie Koebel, followed by a guest tour of Temporal Re-Imaginings, an exhibition at Âjagemô, with curator Alexandra Kahsenniio Nahwegahbow.
Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Meeting location TBD
$15 at the door. Non-Panelists are welcome. Please RSVP via
Space is limited.


Possible topics of discussion include but are not limited to:

  • How do artist engender narratives through cultural expression? How do art historians in turn reconstruct artistic narratives? How do art historical narratives transform over time?
  • How have artists and scholars reinforced and/or counteracted hegemonic and exclusionary narratives?
  • How do artists and scholars interact with narratives as palimpsest?
  • How do artists and scholars enact social change through the art and theory they produce under conditions of oppression and trauma?
  • How do artists position personal narratives into larger narratives of colonialism, nationalism or other
  • Archival interventions and the (re)presentation of history
  • Authorship and constructions of identity
  • Museum and institutional narratives
  • Community narratives
  • Oral history and alternative narratives
  • Narratives produced under the conditions of migration and diaspora

The Call for Papers notice is available in PDF: Narrative Interventions


Conference Committee, 2016

  • Co-Chairs: Brittany Watson and Amy Prouty
  • Committee Members: Manon Gaudet, Danielle Siemens, Ashley Sutherland, and Jasmine Inglis