2016 Conference


AAANZ 2016 Conference

The Work of Art

School of Art, Australian National University

Canberra, December 1-3 2016

AAANZ conference banner 2016

The 2016 conference will be held at the School of Art at the Australian National University, Canberra from Thursday, December 1 to Saturday, December 3, 2016, 9-5 pm.

The AAANZ 2016 Conference Committee are pleased to announce an exciting timetable of events for the annual conference.

Thursday December 1 is the dedicated Postgraduate Student Day to which all conference registrants are warmly invited to attend.

On Thursday December 1 at 6pm Dr Melissa Chiu will be presenting the first keynote at the James O’Fairfax Theatre, National Gallery of Australia. Dr Chiu is Director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C.

On Friday December 2 at 9am Professor Anthea Callen will present the second keynote at the Australian National University. Professor Callen is Emeritus of the Australian National University, Canberra, and Professor Emeritus of Visual Culture, University of Nottingham, UK. Her new book is entitled The Work of Art: Plein Air Painting and Artistic Identity in Nineteenth-Century France.

Conference Registration closes 21st November, 2016.

On Friday December 2 from 5.30- 7.30 pm the AAANZ 2016 Conference Committee and National Portrait Gallery will be hosting a ‘party’ at the National Portrait Gallery. This is a ticketed event and numbers are limited. All conference participants are eligible to purchase a ticket for themselves, and up to one invited guest, at a cost of $25 per person. This event includes entry to the current exhibition The Popular Pet show. To purchase a ticket to this event please note that you must use a credit card via the ANU online portal system, no invoices will be generated. NPG Party Registration  is available until 24 November or unless tickets sell out earlier.

While there are no accommodation partners for AAANZ 2016, information about a range of accommodation in Canberra is available on the registration page.

The Call for Sessions and Call for Papers has closed. Call for Postgraduate Student Day participation and applications for Student Bursaries has closed.

AAANZ annual conferences present opportunities to re-examine art history, art theory and studio practice and generate innovative perspectives on histories and cultural traditions. For this conference, based around the theme ‘The Work of Art’, we invite discussion on how works of art, craft, design and architecture operate and are operated on in different ways and contexts, historically, socially, politically, aesthetically and affectively. Given the location for the conference in Australia’s national capital with its concentration of national cultural institutions we would also welcome sessions on how art is made to work in institutional contexts.

Panel sessions might consider issues such as:

  • The function of art in broad social terms
  • The ways in which art “works upon” its viewers (its affect)
  • The practice of art and the various processes of creation
  • Art in which labour or work is the subject
  • The changing character of work and its impacts on art
  • The economic frameworks of art production and development of different ways of working
  • The singular work of art as a subject for close reading
  • Curatorial processes and other interventions that make art work

We welcome proposals for panels from scholars, postgraduate students, practitioners and professionals in the field whose work focuses on art, design and architecture. Conference sessions are timetabled for three 20 minute papers plus 10 minute questions, totalling 90 minutes. We also invite alternative formats, such as round table or open discussions providing that they can be accommodated by the timetable structure.

Conference sessions will be held at the Australian National University with evening events at the National Gallery of Australia and the National Portrait Gallery.


The conference organisers are unable to assist with accommodation advice, however please note that venues in the ACTON area of Canberra are most convenient to the ANU. The following venues are a short distance from the conference campus venue (Manning Clark, Haydon Allen, Moran, and Copland buildings).


QT Hotel

Burgmann College

Quest Apartments

A budget venue not too far is: YMCA Bush Capital Lodge

Key Dates

Registration closes 21st November, 2016

Conference committee

Professor Helen Ennis, Mr Peter Alwast, Dr Christopher McAuliffe, Dr Ursula Frederick, Dr Sarah Scott  and Dr Robert Wellington, School of Art at ANU; Dr Shaune Lakin, National Gallery of Australia; Dr Anthea Gunn, Australian War Memorial; and Dr Christopher Chapman, National Portrait Gallery.
Head of the conference committee: Professor Helen Ennis
Conference coordinator: Dr Ursula Frederick
Assistant conference coordinator: Mr Alex Burchmore
Postgraduate student day coordinator: Dr Sarah Scott


Please address correspondence to:  conf@aaanz.info