Dada 1916-2016: A Century in Revolt

A Symposium


Doors open to public 9.30am

Papers are 20 minutes in duration with a short time for questions

9.50am Introduction and welcome

10-11.30 Session 1: Chair: Debbie Lewer

10.00 Cole Collins (PhD student, University of Edinburgh), ‘Anti-Dada, Anti-Art, Anti-Legacy: Kurt Schwitters and Anna Oppermann’

10.30 Josh Bowker (PhD student, University of Edinburgh), ‘Overcoming and Modernity: Nietzschean Legacies in Dada’

11.00 Pernille Cornelia Ravn (PhD student, University of Aberdeen), ‘Multilingual Collages and Post-Digital Dadaism in the Poetry of Cia Rinne’


12-1.30 Session 2: Chair: Dominic Paterson

12.00 Carl Lavery (Theatre Studies, University of Glasgow), ‘Surface, Enthusiasm, Ecology: Hugo Ball and Performance’

12.30 Debbie Lewer (History of Art, University of Glasgow) ‘Leaving Dada: Hugo Ball’s Renunciation’

1.00 Ruth Hemus, (School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Royal Holloway University London), ‘From dressing Dada to fashionable Fendi – Sophie Taeuber in the centenary’


2.30-4.00 Session 3: Chair: Eric Robertson

2.30 Hailey Maxwell, (PhD student, University of Glasgow), ‘The Exquisite Corpse: the Social Body in Surrealist Play’

3.00 Elizabeth Kaijs, (PhD student, University of Bristol), ‘Journals, Gender, and ‘Dada’ Revolution in Cologne, 1919-1920’

3.30 Erica O’Neill, (PhD student, University of Glasgow), ‘Tristan Tzara and Paris Dada: The Manifestations’

4.30-6.00 Session 4: Chair: Ruth Hemus

4.30 Eric Robertson (School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Royal Holloway University London), ‘No Mother Tongue: Multilingual Poetry After Dada’

5.00 Dominic Paterson (History of Art, University of Glasgow), ‘Visibly shattered, or, Dada in pieces: contemporary art and Dada’s remains’

5.30 Concluding remarks

6.30 – 7.30 Keynote lecture:

David Hopkins (History of Art, University of Glasgow), ‘Virgin Microbe: Dada, Dissemination, Contagion’

7.30 end


‘Virgin Microbe: Dada, Dissemination, Contagion’

The keynote will be given by Professor David Hopkins. 

David Hopkins is Professor of Art History at the University of Glasgow. His books include the recently-published edited survey of the Dada-Surrealist research field, The Blackwell Companion to Dada and Surrealism (Blackwell, Oxford, 2016). He is also author of the widely-read short guide to the subject, Dada and Surrealism : A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2004). Other books include Marcel Duchamp and Max Ernst: The Bride Shared (Oxford University Press: Clarendon Studies in the History of Art, 1998); After Modern Art : 1955-2000 (Oxford University Press: Oxford History of Art series, 2000); Neo-Avant-Garde (edited, Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2006); Dada’s Boys : Masculinity After Duchamp, (Yale University Press, 2007) and Virgin Microbe : Essays on Dada (co-edited with Michael White, Chicago: Northwestern University Press, 2013). He is currently researching the theme of toys and children’s play in Surrealism and late twentieth century art.

Postgraduate Panel

Josh Bowker, ‘Overcoming and Modernity: Nietzchean Legacies in Dada’

Josh Bowker is a second year PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh researching the cultural history of the European avant-garde. His doctoral thesis investigates how Nietzschean critiques of religion affected the intellectual development of early twentieth century literary and art movements. He has previously studied at the University of East Anglia, and worked for a fine art auction house.

Cole Collins, ‘Anti-Dada, Anti-Art, Anti-Legacies: Kurt Schwitters and Anna Oppermann

Cole Collins is a PhD student at Edinburgh College of Art, The University of Edinburgh. He obtained his MA (Hons) and MLitt in English Literature from the University of Glasgow. His PhD focuses on the representations of women in the collages of Kurt Schwitters, and his research interests inlcude Dada, Merz, feminism and queer theory. He is regular contributor to Sch… The Kurt Schwitters Society Journal, and is an administrator for the Kurt Schwitters Society social media outlets.

Elizabeth Kajs, ‘Journals, Gender, and ‘Dada’ Revolution in Cologne, 1919-1920′

Elizabeth Kajs is a PhD student and tutor at the University of Bristol. Her doctoral thesis, titled ‘Private and Public: The Construction of the New Female Citizen in the Work of Käthe Kollwitz,’ explores gender, the family, and the evolution of modern German womanhood in Kollwitz’s self-portraits, images of working-class women, and political posters. She received her MLitt with distinction for her dissertation in History of Art from the University of St. Andrews, and her BA with honours in History of Art and German Language from Southwestern University in Texas.

Hailey Maxwell, ‘The Exquisite Corpse: the Social Body in Surrealist Play’

Hailey Maxwell is a PhD student at the University of Glasgow, where she also obtained an MA in History of Art and an MLitt in Art, Politics, Transgression: 20th Century Avant-Gardes. Focusing on the Surrealist movement and the intellectual circles around Georges Bataille, Michel Leiris and Roger Caillois, her research project is concerned with how radical currents of art and critical thought in interwar Paris interrogated notions of community by engaging with the concept of ‘the sacred.’

Erica O’Neill‘Tristan Tzara and Paris Dada: The Manifestations’

Erica O’Neill is a first year PhD student of Art History at the University of Glasgow. Erica’s research — “Tristan Tzara: Avant-Garde Performance and Exhibition Practice and the Emergence of the Performance/Theatre Dialectic” —  investigates Tzara’s distinct approach to theatre, and how he envisaged the relationship between theatre, performance and visual art. This investigation will identify the implication for subsequent theatre and performance practice, and their demarcation as separate categories, of Tzara’s innovations. Erica is hosting workshops in Glasgow, 2017, to promote engagement with Tzara’s work, and is organising a Tristan Tzara Retrospective to coincide with the centenary of Paris Dada, 2020.

Pernille Cordelia Ravn, ‘Multilingual Collages and Post-Digital Dadaism in the Poetry of Cia Rinne’

Pernille Cordelia Ravn lives in Glasgow and is a PhD-student at the Centre for Modern Thought at the University of Aberdeen. She did her first degree at the University of Copenhagen and has recently finished her Master’s degree in English Literature (MLitt Modernities) at the University of Glasgow. Her research-project explores contemporary poetic practices that move across genres, artforms, media and languages, and where textual, sonic, visual and haptic aspects of reading and writing intermingle and stir up questions of meaning, identity and belonging.




Ruth Hemus, ‘From dressing Dada to fashionable Fendi – Sophie Taeuber in the centenary’

Ruth Hemus (BA Bath, MSc and PhD Edinburgh) is the author of Dada’s Women (Yale University Press 2009). Her research specialism is the European avant-garde, spanning literature, performance and the visual arts, and with a particular focus on women participants in Dada and Surrealism. Over the last few years Ruth has worked with public institutions including The National Theatre and The Southbank Centre in London, The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, The Nicola Trussardi Foundation in Milan, and the Cabaret Voltaire and Forum Schlossplatz Aarau in Switzerland. She is a Senior Lecturer at Royal Holloway University, London, where she runs the new Liberal Arts programmes.

Carl Lavery, ‘Surface, Enthusiasm, Ecology: Hugo Ball and Performance’

Professor Carl Lavery works on the relationship between theatre, performance, ecology and politics. He has published numerous books and articles on these topics, as well as creating Return to Battleship Island, a performance piece with artist Lee Hassall, which they describe as ‘a live voice over to a film about ruins’. He is currently engaged with 3 projects: writing a monograph, Theatre Ecology: Decreating the Human; researching the legacy of the Situationist International for an AHRC/LABEX network grant with colleagues at the University of Kent and Paris-Ouest Nanterre; and performing the Glasgow Glam Rock Dialogues with David Archibald, an attempt to mix anarchist theory with a trash aesthetic. He is not an expert on Dada.

Debbie Lewer, ‘Leaving Dada: Hugo Ball’s Renunciation’

Debbie Lewer is Senior Lecturer and Head of History of Art at the University of Glasgow. She specialises in 20th-century German art and has published widely on Dada, Expressionism and the wider avant-garde.

Dominic Paterson, ‘Visibly shattered, or, Dada in pieces: contemporary art and Dada’s remains’

Dr Dominic Paterson is an art historian and writer; he is Lecturer in History of Art at the University of Glasgow and Curator of Contemporary Art at the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery.

Eric Robertson, ‘No Mother Tongue: Multilingual Poetry After Dada’

Eric Robertson is Professor of Modern French Literary and Visual Culture at Royal Holloway, University of London. He has written extensively on Dada, Surrealism and the European Avant-Gardes, with authored and co-edited books on René Schickele, Robert Desnos and Yvan and Claire Goll. His book, Arp: Painter, Poet, Sculptor (Yale University Press) was awarded the 2007 Gapper Book Prize. With Elza Adamowicz he co-edited Dada and Beyond: Dada Discourses (2011) and Dada and its Legacies (2012). He has written for many exhibition catalogues, including Genesis Dada and Schwitters-Miró-Arp (both 2016), and is curatorial consultant for the major exhibition, Arp: The Poetry of Forms (Kröller-Müller Museum and Turner Contemporary, 2017-18).

Call for Papers: Postgraduate panel

Call for Papers: Dada 1916-2016: A Century in Revolt
One hundred years ago Dada was launched on an unsuspecting public at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, Switzerland. Hugo Ball, Tristan Tzara, Hans Arp, Sophie Taeuber and other writers and artists in exile from warring Europe used Dada as a slogan for their experiments with art, language, performance and the subversion of public life. It was international in scope, spreading virus-like across Europe and the world. From Paris to Berlin, Barcelona to New York, Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia, Kurt Schwitters, Max Ernst and Hannah Höch were all part of Dada’s reach. Dada was slippery and mobile, eluding definition, transgressing boundaries, creating new languages for art and affronting its great adversary: the ‘good bourgeois’.
To celebrate the centenary of Dada, this all-day symposium event includes lectures by experts in Dada and contemporary art from the University of Glasgow (David Hopkins, Carl Lavery, Debbie Lewer, Dominic Paterson) and from Royal Holloway University of London Ruth Hemus and Eric Robertson. Drawing on Dada texts and anti-texts from the early 20th Century, we will mark its legacy; pointing to art in the 21st century we will remark on its longevity; and in so doing we will look forward as well as back. Difficult to define yet tenacious: Why does this anti-movement still capture the imagination of researchers, artists and fans one hundred years after its inception? Radical, angry, impish, creative, subversive and political: What does Dada have to say to us today?
The symposium will take place in the Center for Contemporary Arts (CCA) in Glasgow on Thursday 3rd November 2016.
Postgraduate students interested in presenting as part of the postgrad panel at the symposium are invited to apply with an abstract of max. 400 words. We welcome and encourage interdisciplinary submissions, or proposals which examine literary, musical, performative, as well as art historical perspectives. The abstract should give us an idea of:
·         your main topic, idea, argument or aim;
·         an indication of the field(s) within which you are working; and
·         which form you would like to present your research in, including any A/V requirements.
Deadline September 30th. Submissions and enquiries should be sent to dadapg2016@gmail.com