Off The Record: An Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference

Off The Record: An Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference

The Rundown

Off the Record is an interdisciplinary graduate conference organized by The Art History Graduate Students’ Society (AHGSS) and second-year PhD students affiliated with The Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture (ICSLAC) of Carleton University. Through Off the Record, we seek to raise questions that elicit discussion concerning the flattening of historical narratives surrounding nation-building practices. This is an important discussion to us, especially as we approach Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations in 2017. The two-day conference will include a series of academic panel discussions and conclude with a guest keynote address.

Off the Record is scheduled to take place on March 24-25, 2017 at Carleton University. We welcome submissions from graduate students at the MA and PhD levels, emerging scholars and working professionals from a variety of disciplinary and institutional backgrounds. This conference will be an excellent opportunity for students within the Carleton graduate community to develop professional skills, including organizing and presenting at a graduate conference. We also strive to create an interdisciplinary network of exchange among our graduate students and faculty members, as well with our visiting panelists and attendees.

The Background

The Art History Graduate Students’ Society is in its fifth year of operation at Carleton University and Off the Record will be the fifth installment of our graduate student conference. Our past conferences have generally focused on aspects of visual culture and art-historical research. This year marks our first partnership with ICSLAC students, and it is through this collaboration that we believe our conference will offer a more interdisciplinary platform.

As an entirely graduate student-run organization, we are fundraising to ensure that our conference is able to operate at the professional level. This year’s theme, Off the Record, invites participants to address issues that consider, but are not limited to: migration and diaspora; material culture; Indigenous politics, identity and resurgence; decolonial methodologies and globalisms; public history; and minor transnationalisms. We believe that our graduate community can offer a safe and professional space for these discussions to be raised, and would be extremely grateful for any financial support that would allow us the opportunity to do so.

We have been working towards our fundraising goals since September through other avenues such as bake sales, book sales and other social events to promote our work. While our conference for the upcoming year has certainly benefited from our early stages of fundraising, we are absolutely committed to ensuring that current and incoming graduate students will have the financial means to carry the conference into future installments.

The Rollout

It is our goal to raise $1,500 through Future Funder. Our conference committee intends to present a professional conference, and the money raised through Future Funder will be used to support the work of our graphic design team who are responsible for ‘branding’ the conference, creating promotional material, and designing our conference program. We value immensely the hard work that our team comprised of several artists has done so far to elevate our conference in terms of visual coherence. The funds will be used to help cover some of the costs related to printing and design services and for the artists who have dedicated their time and talent.


The Benefits

It is of the utmost importance to the Art History Graduate Students’ Society that our students are able to make the most of their graduate experience while they are at Carleton. It is also our privilege to be able to support them in their academic development in any way that we can, and this conference has offered us a platform to do so over the last four years.

Off the Record presents an opportunity for our students not only to be involved in the planning and organization of a professional conference, but also to share their own research and network with emerging scholars, faculty, and other graduate students within and outside the Carleton community.

It is our intention that the conference run by AHGSS in collaboration with ICSLAC will continue to grow each year. The Art History and ICSLAC departments are very isolated from other Arts and Social Science departments on campus, and it is our hope that our conference can foster growth and development in our students on a personal level as well as facilitate in the growth of an academic community.

Other Comments

We thank you for allowing us the opportunity to advance our work and support our students! Please contact if you have any questions.