Focus and Scope

AHVS VI 2017 Poster.


Annual Symposium

Visual Impetus is an annual symposium that is organized by the graduate students in the Department of Art History and Visual Studies.  In January 2018, the symposium will mark 21 years.  The conference provides a venue for graduate students in art history and related fields to present their research to fellow students, faculty, and the outlying community. Open to graduate students at any university, Visual Impetus offers participants the ability to gain experience as presenters and receive critical feedback valuable to their research.

The subject-matter of the presentations delivered at Visual Impetus reflects the department’s dedication to a global art history.  Students engage with a wide array of mediums, including architecture, painting, digital media, and the ephemeral arts. The chosen objects of study are culturally diverse.  Presenters from past symposiums have addressed topics ranging from medieval Persian illuminated manuscripts, to contemporary First Nation textiles, to Baroque Italian chapels.  Due to the diverse nature of the topics discussed, students employ a multitude of theoretical approaches to augment their analyses. 


The symposium benefits from the support of the Department of Art History & Visual Studies, the Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, and the University of Victoria Graduate Student Society. It is usually held in late January and is free and open to the public.