Call for Papers for June 2024 symposium at Leeds: 'The Social Production of Art Today: Revisiting Janet Wolff'

A call for papers has been announced for a June 2024 symposium on Janet Wolff's The Social Production of Art. The symposium, which will be held at Leeds, invites papers to be submitted by 15 April.

The Bauman Institute, a Research Centre based in the School of Sociology and Social Policy, is working with the British Sociological Assocation (BSA) Sociology of the Arts Study Group and the journal Cultural Sociology to host a symposium on ‘The Social Production of Art Today: Revisiting Janet Wolff’, which will take place on Thursday 6 June 2024, 10am – 4.30pm, at the University of Leeds.

The symposium will showcase contemporary work in the sociology of the arts framed around a return to Janet Wolff’s seminal book, The Social Production of Art (1981). More broadly, the intention is to foreground work in the sociology of art which is informed by theories and intellectual histories other than the dominant traditions that orient the subfield (Bourdieu, Becker), or which complicate their dominance.

The symposium invites 15-minute papers which either:
1)    Explicitly engage with Wolff as a primary theorist in contemporary sociologies of art;
2)    Use similar theoretical tools or approaches to Wolff, eg a focus on ideology;
3)    Evaluate The Social Production of Art’s relevance today;
4)    Consider the historiography of the sociology of the arts itself. This might involve discussions of the forces that uphold certain voices at the expense of others (Bourdieu, Becker, and now Latour), or a discussion of the role of national traditions within the sociology of art.

There will be two paper sessions, broadly themed around: ‘Contemporary Approaches to the Social Production of Art’ and ‘Rethinking the Cannons in the Sociology of Art’. Please indicate if you would like to be considered for a specific panel. 

Professor Janet Wolff will join us for the day, offering a talk about the book, its writing, and how it has travelled with her through her career.

Please submit a title and an abstract of 200 words to by 5pm Monday 15 April.

We are reserving at least 25% of the paper slots for ECRs. Please inform us if you are an ECR.

Visit the BSA event listing for more information about the symposium and for details of registration (registrations are not yet live but are due to open soon).

The Bauman Institute is an international centre at the University of Leeds dedicated to the promotion of teaching and research in social and critical theory. Inspired by the legacy of Professor Zygmunt Bauman at Leeds, the Institute gathers scholars based locally, nationally and internationally whose work addresses social and political transformations at a global and planetary scale in the light of classical and contemporary theory.