Stylistic nomenclature to the test of the object

24 June 2018


French Academy in Rome – Swiss Institute in Rome
History of Art research workshop
24th-26th October 2018

Stylistic nomenclature to the test of the object
Construction and breakdown of language in History of Art


The French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici and the Swiss Institute in Rome are organising a research workshop dedicated to stylistic vocabulary from 24th to 26th October 2018.
Aiming to rework the traditional symposium format, for three days, in Rome, we propose to bring together guest researchers and selected Ph.D. students invited to focus on a new approach to the theme.

Whilst History of Art is increasingly assuming a global approach by restructuring in full its method of theorising and teaching the discipline, this research workshop proposes to reflect on the concepts of style and periods which have forged fields of study and made them relevant to modern day life. It will be questioned what shaped history, usage and criticism of expressions such as “antique”, “realism”, “modern”, “contemporary”, “avant-garde” – all terms constantly used, yet always ambiguous.
By alternating communications thorough analyses conducted directly upon objects, it will not only approach the lexical constructions conveyed by historiography, but also compare these representations with the reality of artistic objects – no matter if paintings, sculptures, decorative items or architectures – and enquire the various values and cultural meanings inscribed in the very materiality of the work of art.


Each participant, whether a Ph.D. student or an acknowledged researcher, will be tasked with submitting a 30,000-character essay to the scientific committee, focussing on the theme of their research. The essay will be shared amongst all the participants a few weeks prior to the event.
During the symposium, researchers will have to present the focus of their essay to all the participants (fifteen-minute contribution followed by a discussion on the same theme).
Work sessions will alternate with visits to monuments and cultural institutions in Rome.
The symposium will be conducted in French, Italian and English: each participant may express themselves in one of the three languages and everyone will be asked to confirm to the organising committee that they sufficiently understand the symposium’s three languages, which will not be translated.
The articles/essays will form the chapters of a scientific publication on the subject.


This invitation is aimed at Ph.D. students and young Doctors of History of Art, the theme of whose research is within the scope of the workshop. Communication (essay) proposals must be submitted before 28th February 2018, and must include:
– a 5,000-character text presenting the essay project + bibliographical references;
– a biographical summary of no more than 2,000 characters, plus a CV and list of publications;
– a reading sample of fifteen pages written by the candidate, taken from a publication of his/her choice.
Participants will be notified of the selection in March 2018.
Ph.D. students and young Doctors selected will have the opportunity to stay for a week, either at the French Academy in Rome, or the Swiss Institute in Rome, to prepare their essay. The term of the stay must be mutually agreed with the institutions concerned. Participants will be responsible for their own travel expenses.
Proposals must be submitted by e-mail, with “stylistic nomenclature” stated in the message subject line, to [email protected]
Organising committee: Jérôme Delaplanche (French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici), Valérie Kobi (Swiss Institute in Rome).
Scientific committee: Simon Baier (Universität Basel), Claudia Conforti (Rome, Università di Tor Vergata), Jérôme Delaplanche (Académie de France à Rome – Villa Médicis), Maarten Delbeke (ETH Zürich), Michèle-Caroline Heck (Montpellier, Université Paul Valéry), Valérie Kobi (Istituto Svizzero di Roma), Sarah Linford (Rome, Accademia di Belle Arti), Christian Michel (Université de Lausanne), Caroline van Eck (University of Cambridge), Tristan Weddigen (Bibliotheca Hertziana, Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte).

Appel à participation EN