Call for Papers 2014

Submission deadline has been extended (March 7, 2014). 

The World Cultures Graduate Students, sponsored by The Center for Humanities at the University of California, Merced announces its Second Annual Graduate Students Conference to be held April 18th and 19th, 2014. This year’s topic is “Art and Visual Culture in History, Literature, and Society.” We are interested in papers that examine not only how art and visual culture reflect changes in society but also how art can change the course of human society.


Heritage and identity are produced through objects, images, events, and representations. Museums, monuments, public art, memorials, television images, photographs, landmark districts, and pageants are not passive containers, but are active vehicles in producing, sharing, and giving meaning to popular understandings of the past. This conference examines the broader concept of “visual culture” as it relates to the history of the visual arts but is by no means limited to the ‘arts’. The traditional expressions of the Arts and Culture such as theatre, film, music concerts, festivals, fairs, and the recent trend towards ‘creative placemaking’ will be supplemented by topics extending to how the production of all objects, artifacts and spaces both modern and ancient can provide a sense of community, identity, culture and heritage.


This conference will focus on four conceptual areas: visuality, identity, media culture, and politics/ethics.


We welcome submissions from:
Art history



Cognitive sciences


Political Science

Psychology Sociology

Any other field that can address the subject


The interdisciplinary nature of the theme being covered is intended to provide participants with the opportunity to explore approaches to the topic that they may not be aware of, and to encourage an open discussion of the themes. To encourage the participation of both students at UC Merced and Merced College as well as the local community, our conference will coincide with the Spring Merced Art Hop on Saturday April 19 and our keynote speaker will give the closing address that evening at the newly renovated Merced Theater in downtown Merced.



To submit an abstract or register for the conference, please fill out the form here.

Abstracts should be limited to 250 words and include your name, university affiliation, discipline (multiple disciplines welcomed), and title, and presenting language. Abstracts and talks are welcomed in both English and Spanish.
The deadline for submissions has been extended and is now March 7, 2014 at Midnight. All speakers will have the opportunity to submit their paper for inclusion in the conference proceedings to be published through eScholarship. Last year’s publication is currently available at the following website.

Keynote Speaker to be announced soon.