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Conference Themes and Programme

Keynote speakers

Guests: Clegg and Guttmann (Artists, Germany), Juliet Flower MacCannell (Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature and English, UC Irvine) Ahuvia Kahane (Professor of Greek, Royal Holloway, University of London), Esther Leslie (Professor in Political Aesthetics, Birkbeck, University of London) Dany Nobus (Professor, School of Social Sciences, Brunel, University West London), Blake Stimson (Professor of Art History, University of California)

Download keynote speakers' abstracts

Download keynote speakers' biographies

Transmission: Hospitality aims to address the relation between the various modes of analysis and communication that seek to comprehend art. This conference will be set in a transdisciplinary and transcultural context where dialogues between artists, writers, critics, curators, and academics will be welcomed as a method for generating, mediating, and reflecting experience and knowledge about the way art is received.

Conference themes

Hospitality speaks about art through a form that responds to how art is encountered, discussed and, perhaps most importantly, received. This theme will be explored over the three days of the conference through the topics of Host, Stranger, and Friend. Here we will consider the ethics of hospitality, of making the stranger welcome. A host has a standard of conduct, and historically, hospitality has been seen as a code, a duty, a virtue, and a law. There is a bond between host and guest, and indeed, it is one that may exceed the bond of family, whom one may be called to give up in place of the guest, as the guest must take precedence. Hospitality derives from hospes, formed from hostis, a stranger. Stranger joins with polis. There is a duty of care. Rather than a fetishisation of the social encounter or the reduction of conversation to an aesthetic genre, this international conference takes up discussions on hospitality, incorporating both the stranger and the friend. Here we will ask how art can inform the politics, ethics and cultural meaning that lies at the heart of the host guest relation.

Papers and proposal for panels of three speakers on any aspect of the conference theme were invited (n.b. the deadline has now passed) and peer reviewed by an international panel of academics and artists. Topics for panels at the conference may include but are not limited to:
Host: art and responsibility, art and ethics, art and psychoanalysis, cultures of curating
Stranger: art and the foreigner (or odd, eccentric and uncanny), art and philosophy, multidisciplinary practice
Friend: art and dialogue, art and community, art and politics, collaborative practice

Each of the conference papers will be published on the Transmission website. Papers from the conference will also be invited for publication in the forthcoming issues of Transmission Annual.

The conference is being developed in association with Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University (Dallas, USA) and will include the launch of the new journal Transmission Annual (Artwords) and exhibition opening of Transmission: Interrupted in the SIA Gallery.

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Programme for the dialogues sessions (panel speakers who have had their abstracts accepted) can be downloaded here. The complete conference programme, including both panels and keynote speakers, will be posted on this page tomorrow, but in the meantime, here are some key dates and an outline programme:


  • Applicants notified: deadline Monday 12th April
  • Bookings open: Tuesday 13th April
  • Conference opens: Thursday 1st July
  • Conference closes: Saturday 3rd July

Conference outline programme

Thursday 1st July - Day One

1pm registration
Afternoon: Guest speakers and discussion
Evening: Launch: Transmission Annual: Hospitality and SIA Gallery Private View drinks reception: Transmission Off Air

Friday 2nd July - Day Two

Day: Guest speakers, dialogue sessions and discussion
Lunch: buffet lunch (included in conference fee)
Evening: Conference dinner* to be held in Furnvial atrium

Saturday 3rd July - Day Three

Day: Guest speakers, dialogue sessions and plenary discussion
Lunch: buffet lunch (included in conference fee)
6pm: conference close


*Conference dinner menu

(booking extra @ £28 per person)

Baked goats cheese, olive and onion tart served with rocket salad and pepper coulis

Main Course
Pan fried salmon pave with green pesto and spring bean broth Or
Thai style vegetable and cashew nut stir fry, with coconut basmati rice, served with cucumber relish
The above will be served with chef’s choice of potato and two seasonal vegetables from the buffet counter

Strawberries, shortbread and cream

Domaine de Pellhaut White and Red
Tea, coffee and mineral water

Domaine de Pellhaut

Domaine de Pellhaut

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