The critique and deconstruction of the modern canon has shaped both artistic practice and theory over the past three decades. However, the canon is not just an instrument of institutional power. It is also a means to create forms of literacy and historical consciousness. On what basis is it possible to construct and narrate a new canon? A HISTORY OF LIMITS evolves from the Haus der Kulturen der Welt’s founding mission from 1989 to move beyond the parameters of Eurocentrism and the Western canon. The inaugural conference of the long-term project KANON-FRAGEN interrogates the foundational narratives of modern institutional canons, questioning their architecture and the sources of their authority. Taking as its point of departure the exhibition Past Disquiet. Narratives and Ghosts from the International Art Exhibition for Palestine, 1978, opening simultaneously, the conference moves on to explore conceptions of the modern unconscious and the “hallucinatory” dimension of canon-narratives on the unstable terrain of undead histories.