Is Balkan Art History Global?

posted by istanbul on 2009/01/22 21:23

[ Books ]

There are not many critical texts with the state of art historical practice in Southeast Europe as their theme, and it is for this reason that I would like to highlight an article by Suzana Milevska published in the fairly recent volume Is art history global? (New York: Routledge, 2007) produced under the aegis of James Elkins. The title of her paper (pp. 214-22) is "Is Balkan Art History Global?", a question she soon dismisses as merely rhetorical. The reasons for this she sees as manifold: 1) "there are hardly any art historians or art history books from the Balkans that are known anywhere else but in their own region"; 2) "the professionals from the countries that form the Balkans do not communicate easily with each other and hardly read each other’s art historical texts"; and 3) "obsessed on their own problems in defining what is regional, national, and international art history, the Balkans did not always follow the same pace as art history in the West", which has more recently turned to study "topics and issues rather than historic periods, styles, or national art histories." While this is only the introduction to an article that deserves to be read in full, a "preview" (only 2 pages missing) can be "snuck" through Google books.


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