Forthcoming Events and News

At Work in the Archive Conference

At Work in the Archive Conference

8 - 9 May 2014

School of Art History and World Art Studies Sainsbury Institute for Art, University of East Anglia, Norwich

Contemporary art has an intense interest in the archive, both in a literal and a metaphorical sense. This ‘archival impulse' raises questions regarding the powerful (mal)functions of the archive in our project of modernity that go beyond any narrow disciplinary  interest.

Addressing  questions regarding the possibilities of truth, testimony and mourning through the archive. this conference examines how artists have engaged with the archive in order to explore decolonial futures.

If you are interested in attending please contact Rania Jaber at

Registration closes on Tuesday April 15th.

More information and the conference programme

Image courtesy of the School of Art History & World Art Studies Photographic Collections


The Future of South Asian Collections Conference: UK and South Asia perspectives

The Future of South Asian Collections Conference

30 April to 2 May 2014

This conference aims to promote collaboration and exchanges between professionals working with collections of South Asian arts and crafts, nationally and internationally. By sharing knowledge and experiences, it is envisaged that the conference will build and strengthen networks, and foster new partnerships.

The Future of South Asian Collections Conference: UK and South Asia perspectives

There are numerous and varied South Asian collections held both in the UK and in South Asia.  They range from public or government institutions to privately held collections; some are world renown and firmly established, whilst some are newly formed or a small part of bigger institutions.  Moreover, there are some collections that are well-funded but, certainly within the UK, ever-increasing financial restraints have become a major issue.

Over the last decade there have been shifts in museum practices and thinking about these particular types of collections.  Issues of conservation, documentation, storage and research remain pragmatic concerns for many. Recent collecting practices have tended to be either non-existent, predicated on existing material, in response to particular audiences or linked to specific exhibitions.  Museums have attempted to deliver programs in response to different audiences, with changing expectations and levels of participation.  Does the breadth and complexity of these issues perhaps require the need for an increasingly collective and comprehensive approach?

The conference celebrates the affiliation of the South Asian Decorative Arts and Crafts Collection (SADACC) with the Sainsbury Institute for Art (SIfA) at the University of East Anglia. The notions of 'craft' and 'world art' are explored across the SIFA institutions.  Craft has been considered as the interrelation of form, function, material, process and meaning, mediated through social, economic and cultural influences. Craft is also inextricably linked to concepts of skill and craftsmanship. This understanding of ‘craft' has certainly informed the selection and collection of objects that now form the South Asian Decorative Arts and Craft Collection.  Is it, therefore, a useful device to interpret and consider objects found in South Asia Collections? Furthermore, how do notions of 'craft' relate to debates surrounding 'world art'?


Conference Website and Call for Papers


IMAGE: Boatmen.  Brass, lost-wax casting/dhokra.  Orissa, North East India.  20th century. South Asia Decorative Arts and Crafts Collection. Photograph by James de Ara.

A Celebration of SIfA Research

A Celebration of SIfA Research

On March 17, the School of Art History and World Art Studies hosted a reception in the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts to celebrate the recent research activity of SIfA staff.

The event also included a book launch to showcase some of the recent publications from SIfA's member organisations and to mark three years of the journal World Art.

The event was very well attended and provided a great opportunity for SIfA researchers to talk with fellow academics, students and members of the public about their research.


Recent publications, as well as previous books and journals, are displayed on the SIfA research page.