Art Readings are a specialized conference held on a yearly basis by the Institute of Art Studies, BAS. It has been held in Sofia ever since 2002. The initial idea was a platform to be provided for researchers of all forms and periods of arts to share their latest achievements, thus fostering the shaping of an interdisciplinary view of the processes ongoing in culture and as such, was attractive mostly to the researchers at the Institute of Art Studies as well as to doctoral students from various universities and institutes, while the collections of the conference proceedings proved almost unsaleable due to the multidirectional subjects of the published papers. Steps the event to evolve into an international one, have been taken since 2009.
In 2014, the Institute’s Academic Council undertook changes in the organization of the annual conference seeking its optimisation and evolving into an international event in its own right and mostly, rendering the published collections of conference proceedings more popular. That was the reason why the conference was divided into two modules: Old Art and New Art, and a theme of each of the editions to be defined. Art Readings have been an annual international thematic conference held in two sections ever since then. The New Art module deals with studies in the areas of modern, postmodern and contemporary art. Apart from art historians, musicologists, architects, archaeologists as well as historians and anthropologists, etc., are encouraged to attend.
Since 2015, external delegates participate in the conference by personal invitation letters, taking into account the contribution of the invitees to the thematic areas of research of the relevant edition of the conference. Some of the personally invited scholars are entitled to propose to the Organising Committee their doctoral students with established interests in the respective areas of research. Art Readings seek to provide a platform for young researchers and doctoral students (at least 10% of the participants). Doctoral students and post-docs, who have not been invited personally, shall provide a letter of recommendation by a renowned scholar. The fact that since 2016, there are keynote speakers for the conferences, which are held with about 50% international participation lends uniqueness to Art Readings as an international scientific event. The 2017 edition of Art Readings was attended by 108 researchers from 16 countries.
Traditionally, there are no registration fees for the annual Art Readings.
Proposals and abstracts on the Art Readings themes shall be original and authors shall not have published texts under the same or a similar title. The organizers watch closely for adhering to high scientific ethical standards and no misconduct such as plagiarism, translations of someone else’s texts, incorrect referencing, publications of the same articles under different titles, etc., shall be tolerated. Each submission shall have contributive elements!
Submissions shall contain: the title of the proposed paper; an abstract (up to 1,800 characters with spaces); a short biography; a letter of recommendation by a renowned scholar (when no personal invitation letter has been sent). Submissions shall be emailed to: email@example.com (for fine arts), firstname.lastname@example.org (for music), email@example.com (for theatre), ), firstname.lastname@example.org (for cinema), email@example.com (for architecture) and a copy shall be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org in Bulgarian or English until the submission deadline expiration on 1st October of the previous year. The Organising Committee shall notify the authors of the outcome of the pre-selection process until 15th November of the year preceding the year of the conference.
Conferences are held in the early spring of the next year, usually two weeks before the Orthodox Easter. All participants shall present their papers personally at the conference, answering questions at the discussions, which are an integral part of the event; they are given pieces of advice and provided with references to additional sources or comparisons with other monuments. Using this guidance in preparing the articles for conference proceedings publications is highly recommended. The articles shall be submitted until 1st September of the respective year. Each collection has five in-house editors: for fine arts – Prof. Milena Georgieva, PhD; for music – Prof. Milena Bozhikova, D.Sc.; for theatre – Prof. Kamelia Nikolova, D.Sc.; for cinema – Prof. Ingeborg Bratoeva-Daraktchieva, PhD; for architecture – Prof. Vesselina Penevska, PhD. The texts of the articles shall follow the guidelines offered by the editors and since 2016 the texts undergo double-blind peer reviews by external referees. Eligible for publication are the articles that have passed this third stage of reviewing.