International conference

Discovering Dalmatia IX


Including an International Conference entitled

A womans view of Dalmatian artistic heritage through travel narratives from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries

Split, 19th –22nd October 2023


In organising this year’s Discovering Dalmatia conference, the ninth in this series of annual events in research and scholarship, we were inspired by a specific question: “How to explore a specifically female view of the artistic heritage of Dalmatia through books, documents (letters, manuscripts, diaries, drawings, photographs), and works of art from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries?”

The significance of women’s travel narratives in this region – geographically located on the border of East and West, and where Christian and Islamic cultures touched and created a rich artistic heritage – can thus become the focus of interdisciplinary travel writing research for the first time.

We approach the travelogue as a genre for collecting and conveying information about other cultures, testing it as a genre of female emancipation, and exploring the scope of female expertise in this field. Focusing on trips to Dalmatia (but not exclusively so), this gathering considers the specificity of women's views of the artistic heritage of Dalmatia through case studies. But we are also interested in how travel served women: the ways in which women established themselves as experienced travellers, respected authors, and disciplinary experts from the eighteenth century onwards, during a period when their rights were seriously challenged.

In addition to the conference, this year’s Discovering Dalmatia programme includes a public lecture entitled Celebration of Multiculturalism by the contemporary Japanese artist Saeri Kiritani, who has recently relocated to Split. There will also be a presentation on the book Contributions to the Hypermapping of Diocletian’s Palace: Layered Space and Conceptions of Place (Institute of Art History Zagreb 2023), edited by Anči Leburić, Leslie Lok, and Ana Šverko, which contains essays by Damir Gamulin, Leslie Lok, Ana Šverko, and Sasa Zivkovic. This work returns Diocletian's Palace in Split to the focus of theoreticians and the creative planning disciplines.

This year’s programme also includes a visit to the exhibition Napoleon’s Road in Dalmatia – The Contribution of the French Administration in the Development of Road Construction in Dalmatia at the Beginning of the 19th Century, by senior archivist Denis Martinović and archivist Karolina Ražov from the State Archives in Zadar, which is being held at the Milesi Palace (The Institute for Scientific and Artistic Work of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts).

We are very happy to note that the organisation of this year’s programme has included the participation of several highly-respected Split museums: the Ethnographic Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Meštrović Gallery, who have opened the doors to their beautiful collections for us, and in doing so, as with their regular activities, they are continuing to contribute to the “discovery” of Dalmatia.

Scientific Committee
Joško Belamarić
Mateo Bratanić
Katrina O’Loughlin
Cvijeta Pavlović
Marko Špikić
Ana Šverko
Elke Katharina Wittich

Organising Committee
Joško Belamarić
Tomislav Bosnić
Ana Ćurić
Ana Šverko

Contact: Ana Šverko