"It's a Small World After All"
Sponsored by Art History and Archaeology Graduate Student Symposia, University of Missouri-Columbia
Friday, March 7, 2014 to Saturday, March 8, 2014

University of Missouri-Columbia
Columbia, MO 65203
United States

CFP Deadline: 
Friday, January 10, 2014

Keynote: Friday evening, Dr. Tyler Jo Smith (Associate Professor of Classical Art and Archaeology at the University of Virginia)

The Art History and Archaeology Graduate Student Association at the University of Missouri invite submissions from graduate students that take an object-based approach to the importance of “smallness” in the realms of art and material culture.


Often, “small” objects and works of art have been overlooked or marginalized by scholars, being categorized as “minor” or “decorative” arts consequently being relegated to the realm of the insignificant.  Yet, these small items were often produced with delicate and careful artistic skill, were used and treasured by their original owners, were ornamented with or created from expensive luxury materials, and above all, were culturally significant.  Likewise, smaller elements of larger artworks, such as painting and architecture, are often overlooked in light of the larger and more overpowering whole.  However, such smaller elements often hold important clues for understanding social status, cultural context, and symbolism.  This symposium would like to turn the tables and focus on what makes small items interesting and significant.  The material under consideration should deal with issues of smallness and may be literally, conceptually, or in name only “small.”  

Possible subjects that investigate the theme of smallness may include, but are not limited to:

  • Miniatures and or toys

  • Smaller components of a larger work.

  • Small archaeological finds including coins, ivories, metals, bone, or pottery.

  • Text and inscriptions.

  • Painting.

  • Jewelry.

  • Table wares.

  • Luxury items.

  • Architecture and Architectural sculpture.

  • Small-scale topography, town planning, trade and production.


    Topics from any historical period of Art History, Archaeology, Material Culture, and related fields will be considered for 20-minute presentations.  All presentations will be held on Saturday, March 8.


    Submissions should be submitted electronically to MU.AHAGrads@gmail.com no later than January 10, 2014.  Proposals should consist of a 250-500 word abstract and a CV.

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