Department of Art History – UW–Madison College of Letters & Science Mon, 07 Oct 2019 09:48:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Matt Westerby to Join CASVA Mon, 07 Oct 2019 09:48:34 +0000 Starting in October, Matthew Westerby (Ph.D. 2017) will join the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) in Washington, D.C., as a Postdoctoral Research Associate for Digital Projects. In addition to his responsibility for ongoing digital projects at CASVA, the two-year appointment will support his research on 12th century sculpture and manuscripts from monastic centers in the Eastern Pyrenees.

CFP: Library Architecture (due November 25, 2019) Sat, 05 Oct 2019 20:57:29 +0000 Call for Papers: Library Architecture in North America  (Workshop, Madison, WI, March 26–28th, 2020)

Department of Art History, Madison, WI, USA, March 26–28th, 2020
Submission Deadline: November 25th, 2019
Keynote Speaker: Kenneth Breisch, USC
Organizer: Maxi Schreiber (Darmstadt/UW-Madison), Post-Doctoral Fellow 2019–20

Click Here for a longer description of the call for papers.

Caption: James Hunt Library, North Caroline State University, Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Faculty Spotlight: Thomas Dale “Race and Globalism in the Roman Empire and Medieval Venice: A Conversation” Sat, 05 Oct 2019 20:31:38 +0000 Professor Thomas Dale (Art History), with Professor Nandini Pandey (CANES), will participate for this Medieval Studies Brown-bag Research Colloquium. They will discuss research in progress and compare approaches to race and globalism in the Roman Empire and thirteenth-century Venice. Among the questions to be addressed are: How did these societies interact with and include diverse populations? How did they understand ethnic and racial difference? What are some visual and narrative ways they used to represent diversity, and what problems / questions do these raise?  What do we learn by comparing / contrasting these two case studies and what are the ramifications for our understanding of race and globalization today?

Student Spotlight: Michael Feinberg Mon, 30 Sep 2019 20:21:03 +0000 Ph.D Candidate Michael Feinberg will be discussing his research on transatlantic implantation as part of the Humboldt Forum in Berlin, Germany. This conversation draws upon his dissertation work in addition to materials he discovered as part of his summer research residency at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Student Spotlight: Fernanda Villarroel’s Public Humanities Professional Development Workshop Thu, 26 Sep 2019 14:50:06 +0000 Assistant Director of Public Humanities Aaron Fai will facilitate a small group workshop of common professional development skills for publicly minded humanities scholars. Joining the workshop will be our 2019 Humanities Without Walls fellow, doctoral candidate Fernanda Villarroel (Art History). Workshop attendees will be paired with a scholar with similar professional goals to identify individual goals, and discuss career possibilities as well as challenges.

This workshop is by registration only and will be capped at twelve. Lunch will be provided. To register, please submit one paragraph (300-words maximum) describing your interest in a public humanities career (whether academic or non-academic) and one associated goal for the next year. Also please let us know of any food concerns. Submit your request directly to Aaron Fai (

Ibrahim Mahama Artist Talk “Freedom, Art, Production” Thu, 19 Sep 2019 01:49:20 +0000 Ibrahim Mahama is a Ghanaian contemporary artist and founder of the Savanah Center for Contemporary Art in Tamale, his hometown. He is represented by White Cube gallery in London His work has been, among other venues, at Documenta14 in 2017 and the Venice Biennale in 2015, 2017, and 2019. “A Straight Line Through the Carcass of History” is part of the Ghana Pavilion in Venice this year, designed by David Adjaye and including work by John Akomfrah and El Anatsui.

Mahama explores the poetics of labor and the spectral politics of global trade, as engraved in the failure, decay, rupture, and resilience of materials and structures. With the collaboration of an ever-expanding network of people, he has created large scale public interventions sewing together worn jute sack formerly used to extract cocoa and charcoal from Ghana. Occupying spaces and buildings as core elements of his artworks, he digs into defunct infrastructures still informing every day practices to set the ground for lasting social change.

This event is co-organized by the registered student organization Art + Scholarship in Theory and Practice, the Art History Department, and the Department of Design Studies.

For more information:

Student Spotlight: PhD Student Kendra Greendeer’s co-curated Exhibition “Intersections: Indigenous Textiles of the Americas” Open Now! Wed, 11 Sep 2019 10:05:16 +0000 kg

Student Spotlight: PhD Student Kendra Greendeer has co-curated “Intersections: Indigenous Textiles of the Americas” at the Lynn Mecklenburg Textile Gallery within the School of Human Ecology. This exhibition brings together textiles of several Indigenous groups to explore material interrelationships among Indigenous cultures that have long engaged in intricate networks of exchange throughout the Americas. The exhibition is currently open and will run through December 6th, 2019.

Opening Reception: September 19th, 5:00–7:00pm at the Lynn Mecklenburg Textile Gallery

For more information:

The Middle Ages Today Mon, 09 Sep 2019 02:21:38 +0000 Professor Jennifer Pruitt and Phd Student Ahmed Abdelazim will be participating in a special Humanities Now event.

The topic is all about how – and why – the Middle Ages matter today. With public violence increasingly on display in our society, is history, too, under siege? We’ll talk about everything from the Crusades to Game of Thrones to white supremacy to how popular images of the medieval past connect to notions of race and religion, today.

Shimon Attie: Stateless Views of Global Mon, 09 Sep 2019 01:51:23 +0000 Public Lecture
Thursday, September 26, 2019
Elvehjem Building, L150

Friday, September 27, 2019
University Club, Room 212
Institute for Research in the Humanities Seminar Room
10:00AM – 12:00PM

*To attend the workshop, please RSVP to

Shimon Attie is an international visual artist whose work spans many media, but he is especially well-known for his site-specific public projections and video installations that focus on migrants, asylum seekers, and the persecuted. For “The Writing on the Wall” (1991–92) Attie projected images of Jews and Jewish life from 1930s Berlin onto the buildings and in the neighborhoods where the images were originally taken. This past fall, “Night Watch,” a series of video portraits of asylum seekers, many of them queer, was installed on a floating barge equipped with a large-scale LED screen. The floating media installation was on view along Manhattan and Brooklyn’s coast during the UN General Assembly week. In more recent years, Attie has also created a number of multiple-channel immersive video installations for museum and gallery exhibition. Currently on view through September 29th at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is “Shimon Attie: The Crossing,” an exhibit curated by undergraduate and graduate students in the course Design Thinking For Exhibits. “The Crossing” (2017) is an art film made with Syrian refugees who had recently arrived in Europe, many on rafts over the Mediterranean, some just weeks before the filming. Attie’s current work in progress, “Time Twirl,” is a video installation which conflates our current political moment of Donald Trump and Brazil’s Jacir Bolsenaro and their historical antecedents, with Brazilian dance, Mel Brooks and comedic representation of fascism. Attie has received 12 year-long visual artist fellowships, including from the John S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the American Academy in Rome (The Rome Prize), The National Endowment for the Arts, The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and Kunstfonds (Germany’s NEA equivalent).

Events made possible thanks to the generous financial support of the Anonymous Fund and the Center for Jewish Studies.

We would also like to thank the Women’s and Gender Studies Consortium and the Departments of Art and Art History.

Image caption: Night Watch (Mikaela with Liberty), 20’ wide LED screen on barge, Hudson River, 30”x45”/ 48”x72” Lambda Photograph, Shimon Attie, 2018, courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

Undergraduates Receive the Iwanter Prize Wed, 04 Sep 2019 23:24:39 +0000 Keqinhua Zhu, a recent UW-Madison graduate (B.S ’19, Art History and Conservation Biology), was awarded the $500 Iwanter Honorable Mention Prize from the Center for the Humanities for her senior honors thesis, “From Global to Local: A Case Study of the Macartney Tapestry in the Reign of Emperor Qianlong, 1735–1796.” Having received her Bachelor of Science degree in both Art History (with honors) and Conservation Biology, Zhu finds that her interdisciplinary studies has allowed her to be “more systematic in handling visual and material practices,” and to see “new possibilities to connect art with science.” Keqinhua Zhu will continue her studies during the fall 2019 semester at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, studying Chinese art history at the graduate level.

This is the second consecutive year for an Art History undergraduate to receive the Iwanter Prize. Alexa Machnik (B.A. ’18, Art History) received the $2,000 Iwanter Prize in 2018 for her honor thesis, “Deified Beauty: Yang Guifei’s Cultural Legacy and Manifestation as Kannon in the Sennyu-ji Temple.” The $2,000 prize is given to a graduating senior who, through a senior thesis and general academic distinction, demonstrates outstanding humanities-based scholarship of a broad and interdisciplinary nature. Alexa just published her thesis in the prestigious undergraduate art history journal, Bowdoin Journal of Art. After graduation, Alexa pursued a career in art conservation and is currently employed as a conservation technician at the Yale University Library.

Keqinhua and Alexa both wrote their senior honors theses under the direction of Professor Yuhang Li.