A series of seven books, intended as barometers of the current state of art theory on seven different subjects. This site includes the Series Preface and Series Afterword.


Some of the panel discussions that are transcribed in each book took place in Ireland, at the University College Cork. This is the panel discussion for vol. 5, Renaissance Theory.

Panelists from Renaissance Theory at the University College Cork, Ireland: Michael Cole, Robert Williams, James Elkins, Ethan Matt Kavaler.

The Art Seminar

(New York: Routledge, 2005-2008)

The Art Seminar is a series of seven books, involving hundreds of scholars from around the word. All the titles are available through the Amazon aStore.

The idea of the series is to be conversational and open-ended, producing a cross-section of current understandings on each topic. The reasons for the open architecture and dialectic form of the series are set out in the Series Preface, which is uploaded here.

In the last volume of the series there's a Series Afterword, taking stock of the entire project. What seemed especially interesting was the differing degrees of incoherence in the seven subjects, which may be indicative of the current state of theorizing.

Vol. 1:     Art History versus Aesthetics, with an Introduction by Robert Gero, Afterwords by Jay Bernstein and Marc Redfield, and assessments by Arthur Danto, Thierry De Duve, Diarmuid Costello, Andrew Benjamin, Stephen Melville, Adrian Rifkin, Paul Crowther, Wendy Steiner, John Hyman, Richard Woodfield, Anna Dezeuze, Keith Moxey, Matthew Rampley, and about twenty others (New York: Routledge, 2005).

Vol. 2:    Photography Theory, with an introduction by Sabine Kriebel, an Afterword by Walter Benn Michaels, and contributions by Joel Snyder, Margaret Iversen, Jan Baetens, Liz Wells, Geoffrey Batchen, Carol Squiers, Michael Leja, Margaret Olin, Abigail Solomon-Godeau, Johan Swinnen, Steve Edwards, Rosalind Krauss, Alan Trachtenberg, Diarmuid Costello, Victor Burgin, Graham Smith, Anne McCauley, Walter Benn Michaels, and others (New York: Routledge, 2006).

Vol. 3:     Is Art History Global?, with an Afterword by Shelly Errington, and contributions by Friedrich Teja Bach, Cao Yiqiang, Shigemi Inaga, Craig Clunas, Suman Gupta, David Carrier, Matthew Rampley, Keith Moxey, Andrea Giunta, Sandra Klopper, Barbara Stafford, Charlotte Bydler, Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann, Mariusz Bryl, Keith Moxey, Suzana Milevska, Shelly Errington, David Summers, and others  (New York: Routledge, 2006).

Vol. 4:    The State of Art Criticism, co-edited with Michael Newman,  with contributions by Stephen Melville, Dave Hickey, Irit Rogoff, Guy Brett, Katy Deepwell, Joseph Masheck, Peter Plagens, Julian Stallabrass, Alex Alberro, Whitney Davis, Abigail Solomon-Godeau, and others (New York: Routledge, 2007).
Download the Afterword here.

Vol. 5:    Renaissance Theory, co-edited with Robert Williams, with an Introduction by Rebecca Zorach and contributions by Stephen Campbell, Fredrika Jacobs, Matt Kavaler, Michael Cole, Claire Farago, Alessandro Nova, and others (New York: Routledge, 2007).

Vol. 6:    Landscape Theory, co-edited with Rachael DeLue, with contributions by Rachael DeLue, Yvonne Scott, Minna Törmä, Denis Cosgrove, Rebecca Solnit, Anne Whiston Spirn, David Hays, Michael Gaudio, Jacob Wamberg, Michael Newman, Jessica Dubow, and others (New York: Routledge, 2008). (There's also a report about the book here.)

Vol. 7:    Re-Enchantment, co-edited by David Morgan, with contributions by Thierry de Duve, Boris Groys, Wendy Doniger, Kajri Jain, and others (New York: Routledge, 2008).

A graph of the subject keywords listed by art historians in the Bibliography of the History of Art. The graph shows that despite rumors that "theory" is a thing of the past, it continues to grow in the self-descriptions of art historians. More material on this subject is in vol. 3 of this series, in the essay "Art History as a Global Discipline," and in the lecture "Is Art History Global?" (on this site, on the Lectures page).

A poster for the final event in the series, Chicago, 2007.