Questions of scale are a core issue for global history. They are particularly crucial for art history, in which a monographic tradition is still dominant. Next to the usual scales (urban, regional, national, international, transnational and/or circulatory), works of art can also be considered as a scale in its own right, one in which
different logics meet or compete. This panel will bring together scholars who are pioneering new scales in art history. It will foster exchange and collaboration among them. We seek to combine the presentation of projects in which multiple scale analysis is practiced, and the potential study of works is not reduced to a monographic, and/or a local scale. By inviting researchers to illustrate the objects, methods and problems of their work, our panel aims to address a number of fundamental epistemological questions :
How does the choice of a particular scale affect our objects ? A larger or a narrower focus can modify our perceptions of “facts”, but also determine from the outset what we can (or cannot) see. In other words, we do not see more or less depending on our scale of choice : we see completely different things.
How does art history construct its scales of analysis ? How to explain the various reception of certain approaches (micro, macro, trans-, etc.) in the history of our discipline and in different national traditions ?
How to use different scales, and articulate them ? Is there continuity or discontinuity between different levels ?
Which tools for which scales ? Macro scales are usually associated with quantitative analysis, just as micro approaches are expected to deploy qualitative methods. But is this dualism always appropriate ?