The Graduate Union of the Students of Art (GUStA) at the University of Toronto is pleased to present the Sixth Annual Wollesen Memorial Graduate Symposium on March 15th , 2019 titled, “Confronting the Exhibitionary Order.”

Friday March 15, 2019

East Common Room Hart House

7 Hart House Circle

University of Toronto

Toronto, ON M5S 3H3

(EXTENDED) Deadline for abstract submission: Jan 7, 2019 .

Introductory Address: Dr. Elizabeth Harney, Professor, art historian, and curator

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Julie Crooks, Independent scholar, art historian, and curator

“To know what properly appertains to one individual is to have before one the classification -or the possibility of classifying- all others.” – Michel Foucault in The Order of Things

The theme of this year’s graduate symposium is “Exhibitionary Orders.” We welcome innovative contributions that critically engage with the history of exhibitionary orders and classification systems as tools for defining, ordering, and representing the world as an endless exhibition. The classification systems that helped inform modernism were dependent on comparative cognitive shortcuts and coded stereotypes that lay claim to the superiority and accomplishments of western civilization. This symposium seeks to question how the creation, presentation, and dissemination of visual and material culture and knowledge has resulted in the perpetuation of problematic imperial hierarchies. Debates around reparations continue to percolate in today’s political climate, urging us to interrogate the display tactics of museums, galleries, and biennials, as well as larger questions of exhibitionary orders in the world.

Potential themes may include, but are not limited to:

  • World exhibitions as sites for the creation, dissemination and transfer of knowledge
  • Colonial exhibitions and the development of museums, display tactics, and exhibitionary order
  • Ethnography and anthropology (human exhibits, ethnographic portraiture, etc.)
  • Historiography and the construction of historical narratives
  • Defining, ordering, and representing the world
  • The Enlightenment and classification systems
  • Colonialism/ Postcolonialism/Decolonialism
  • Self-representation, mimicry, hybridity, and processes of disavowal

We encourage abstract submissions from graduate students of various backgrounds and disciplines. The Symposium will employ both presentations and panel discussions in the program. Chosen works must be 20 minutes in length and may be selected for either approach. Selected presentations will be featured for publication in the Wollesen Art Journal, a peer-reviewed publication of the symposium proceedings. For more information, please visit:

Please submit an abstract (.doc/.docx/.pdf) of no more than 300 words to the Graduate Students of Art at by Monday, January 7, 2019 at 5:00 pm EST.

Participants will be notified by email by late January.

With appreciation,

Laura Tibi and Maria Mendoza Camba

Co-Chairs of the 6th Annual Wollesen Memorial Graduate Symposium

Department of Art | University of Toronto