Art History Department

Felicity Tayler

Email: | Website:

My postdoctoral research project, Geographies of Eros, will address concerns articulated through Toronto’s artists and art institutions, as a contribution to an emerging field of study: urban art histories. This approach recognizes the symbolic value of visual art, exhibition practices, art writing, and publishing as they intersect with civic participation in the democratic public sphere. Recent conferences such as This is Paradise (U of T Art Centre, 2015), and exhibitions such as Is Toronto Burning? 1977/1978/1979 (AGYU, 2014), Form Follows Fiction (U of T Art Museum, 2016), and Tributes + Tributaries (AGO, 2016), generated active debates and raised questions about the centrality of urban sites within the geographies of post-national global art worlds; the dichotomies of rural versus periphery; and of settler cartographies versus Indigenous world-views. These exhibitions, their catalogues, and the media/critical responses, addressed diverse audiences, fostering shared social imaginaries that have implications for national and transnational publics as well as for the local and urban. I would like to explore how these social imaginaries simultaneously conflict and overlap through the effects that Sarah Ahmed has ascribed to the “cultural politics of emotion,” in which affective states determine which bodies are drawn into or excluded from community formations—whether these are officially designated or self-organized from the ground up. The theoretical foundation of this project draws on recent scholarship, in which psychoanalysis and public sphere theory is applied to art historical studies of the 20th century avant-garde and neo-avant-garde, and 21st century digital culture. I will also engage with the work of curators, critics, and scholars who have previously addressed aspects of artistic community, media transmission, sociality, and sexuality in this city. My project grows out of curatorial and artistic practice as well as PhD research into Utopian geographies of artistic and poetic community, and related counter-national narratives proposed in conceptual bookworks and artists’ magazines of the early 1970s.

  • PhD Interdisciplinary Humanities, Concordia University
  • MLIS McGill University
  • BFA Concordia University
Selected Publications
  • “Linguistic Therapy c. 1973: Archival Traces from Véhicule’s Press.” In Un-Archiving the Literary Event: CanLit Across Media, edited by Jason Camlot and Katherine McLeod. McGill-Queen’s University Press, forthcoming 2017. Peer reviewed.

  • “Grey Guide: Publishing from Artist-Run Culture.” In ARCA (Artist-Run Centres and Collectives Conference/La Conférence des collectifs et des centres d’artistes autogérés). Forthcoming 2017. Serial e-newsletter and print publication.

  • “Serial Positionings: Roy K. Kiyooka’s ‘Conceptual Art Trips.” Journal of Canadian Art History / Annales d’histoire de l’art canadien 36.1 (2016): 128–53. Peer reviewed.

  • “Paul-Émile Borduas: A Critical Biography.” Book review. Montreal Review of Books (Spring 2014).

  • “West of Center : Art and the Countercultural Experiment in America, 1965–1977.” Book review.
    C Magazine 118 (2013).

  • “Light Years : Conceptual Art and the Photograph, 1964–1977” Book review. Ciel Variable 94 (2013).

  • “Information from the Quebec Underground.” In Des actions parlantes / Actions that Speak, edited by Michèle Thériault. Montréal: Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, 2012.

  • “Artexte metadata conversion to EPrints: adaptation of digital repository software to visual and media arts documentation.” Tomasz Neugebauer, Corina MacDonald, and Felicity Tayler. International Journal on Digital Libraries 6.2 (2012): 1–15. (DOI) 10.1007/s00799-011-0077-5. Peer reviewed.

  • “Publishing as Alternative Space.” In Documentary Protocols (1967–1975), edited by Vincent Bonin. Montreal: Leonard and Ellen Bina Art Gallery, Concordia University, 2009.


  • Selected Lectures:

    Mainmise: Countercultural Geographies in Reproduction.” Lecture at SHARP 2017: Technologies of the Book, University of Victoria, BC, June, 2017. Panel organizer: Libidinal Economies: Networks of Activist and Countercultural Print Cultures in the Early 1970s.
    “The Spirit of Those Spaces Where Networks Overlap.”  Lecture at Underground in the Aether Conference, VIVO Media Arts Centre, Vancouver, BC, April 8, 2017.
    “Conceptualizing ‘Our City’.” Lecture at 30th Annual 2 Days of Canada Conference: The Concept of Vancouver, Brock University, Saint-Catharines, ON, October 14, 2016.
    “Imagining the Book as Counter-Environment: Roy K. Kiyooka’s Transcanada Letters.” Lecture at SHARP 2015: The Generation and Regeneration of Books, Université de Sherbrooke, Longueuil, QC, July 9, 2015.
    “Sound as Visual—Visual as Sound: Documentary Traces of Literary Events at Véhicule Art in the early 1970s.” Lecture at Can Lit Across Media: Un-Archiving the Temporal Event, Concordia University, Montréal, QC, June 6, 2015.
    “Toronto via Vancouver: Image Banks and Filing Systems for Networked Bodies.” Lecture at This is Paradise Art and Artists in Toronto, Justina M. Barnicke Gallery & University of Toronto Art Centre, Toronto, ON, May 29, 2015.
    “Metadata as a Complex Network: A Case Study of Data Visualization for Art Historical Research.” Co-presented with Tomasz Neugebauer and Corina MacDonald at Constellations, Clusters, Networks, AHGSA Annual Conference, Concordia University, Montréal, QC, March 7, 2015.
    “Constellation and Correspondences : Networking Between Artists, 1970–1980.” Lecture at Traffic: Conceptualism in Canada, Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, November 26, 2010.
Recent Awards
  • 2018–19 FAS Postdoctoral Fellow, History of Art, University of Toronto
  • 2017–19 FRQSC Bourse de recherche postdoctoral, Histoire des arts
  • 2014 Nomination for “Meilleur commissariat—Commisaire emergent(e) de l’année” Gala des Arts Visuels, Association des galleries d’art contemporain (AGAC)
  • 2013–14 Conseil des arts et des letters du Québec (CALQ), Programme de soutien aux projets pour les organismes et les commissares indépendants en cinema et video, circulation des oeuvres
  • 2011–14 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowship
  • 2010–13 Faculty of Fine Arts Graduate Fellowship, Concordia University
  • 2011 Brenda and Jamie Mackie Fellowship, The Banff Centre
  • 2010 Canada Council for the Arts Travel Grant to Professional Artists
  • 2009 Canada Council for the Arts, Curators and Critics Travel Grant
  • 2007 Canada Council for the Arts, Inter-Arts Creation/Production Grant
  • 2004 National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives TD Bank Financial Group Internship

Site Design & Development by Office/Bureau