Symposium | Call for Papers


The University of Glasgow

The Ben Uri Gallery

link Click here for the programme

link Click here to download the abstract book

Registration is open to all and costs £30

link Click here to access the registration form MS Word






A Symposium Hosted by the
University of Glasgow Graduate School of Arts and Humanities

23-24 September 2008

Keynote Speakers

Professor Melissa Raphael-Levine (University of Gloucestershire): 'Can Seeing a Jewish Woman's Face be Like Seeing the
Face of God?: The Impossibility of the Female Jewish Sublime in 20th Century Jewish Art'

Professor Shulamit Reinharz (Brandeis University): 'A Century of Jewish Women Artists: Patterns and Products'

Dr. Laura Levitt (Temple University): 'Seeing Jewish: An American Jewish Feminist Perspective'

Special Plenary Lecture

Dr Richard Holloway
Chair of the Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Screen. Former Bishop of Edinburgh and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church.  'Art as Creative Dissonance'

Job (1933)
by Hannah Frank

(click on the link, above, for more information about Hannah Frank/to return to the Hannah Frank website) 


Call for papers  (**update : this conference took place in September 2008 : you can download the final programme and abstracts below).  

In conjunction with an art exhibition at Glasgow University Chapel celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Glasgow Jewish artist Hannah Frank, the Graduate School of Arts and Humanities and the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Glasgow will host a two-day symposium on art, religion, and identity. Questions about the role of identity in art abound, and these questions only increase when the artist is associated with a particular social group, be it religious, gendered, or ethnic, through their own self-presentation or the efforts of outside scholars or critics. To what extent does association with a social group influence the production of art? To what extent does an awareness of such associations influence the viewer’s experience of art?

We invite papers on any topic relating to the conference theme, with a focus on the 19th and 20th centuries, although we are open to proposals dealing with other periods. We welcome papers from any discipline, including but not limited to theology, art history, museum and archive studies, cultural studies, history, psychology, sociology, anthropology and literature.

Abstracts of 150-300 words, for papers not exceeding 20 minutes in length, or proposals for posters (A1 size) should be addressed to Julie Clague and Alana Vincent at, no later than 20 July.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

- Art as (auto)biography

- Borrowing and appropriation of imagery

- Contested (religious) identities

- Hermeneutics, textuality, and ‘reading’ images

- Intersections between mythology and religion in visual culture

- Imagination and the fantastic

- Material memory and culture making

- Theological and/or religious aesthetics

- Tensions, transgressions, heresies, and idolatries

- Religious uses of art: devotion, illustration, midrash, protest

- Artistic uses of religion: themes, symbolism, tradition, power

- Visual markers of religious identity

- Gender in relation to any of the above

Kosher food was available at the conference.

A reception was held in the Scottish Parliament, Holyrood, Edinburgh, on the evening of 23 September in honour of Hannah Frank.  This event was be open to conference delegates and transport from Glasgow was available. 

link Click here for the programme

link Click here to download the abstract book

For more information, please contact the Conference Team at

This event was supported by the Ben Uri Gallery: The London Jewish Museum of Art.