February 28, 2017

Conference: “Art, Institutions, and Internationalism: 1933–1966″

The Graduate Center, CUNY
France d’outre-mer, Exposition Universelle de Bruxelles, 1935.

This conference examines histories of production, exchange, pedagogy, and publishing that highlight shifting definitions of internationalism before and after World War II. Much art historical scholarship of this period has concentrated on universalism, or attempts to transcend cultural, linguistic, and political boundaries of the nation-state. Instead, this conference focuses on internationalism, inviting scholars to explore material exchange of art and ideas among nations during the transition from colonial to post-colonial statehood in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, as well as socio-political transformations in Europe and the Americas.


Program schedule

Tuesday, March 7, 10:30am–8pm
The Graduate Center, CUNY

10:30–11am: Introduction
Chelsea Haines and Gemma Sharpe, conference co-organizers (The Graduate Center, CUNY)

11am–12:30pm: Internationalism in Photography and Print
Maxine Anderson, “Manuel Alvarez Bravo’s Surrealism: Toward a Rhizomatic Periphery” (University of Oregon)

Naomi Kuromiya, “A conflicted sekai-sei: reconsidering the ‘world relevance’ of the avant-garde Japanese calligraphy journal Bokubi (1951-1960)” (New York University)

Alise Tifentale, “The Misunderstood ‘Universal Language’ of Photography: The Fourth FIAP Biennial, 1956″ (The Graduate Center, CUNY)

Moderator: Antonella Pelizzari (The Graduate Center, CUNY)

2–4pm: Individual Networks and New Spheres of Influence
Sarah-Neel Smith, “‘Far off but Not Alien Lands': Abby Weed Grey’s Turkish Sojourns, 1961-1969″ (Maryland Institute College of Art)

Abigail Lapin Dardashti, “Negotiating Afro-Brazilian Abstraction: Rubem Valentim at the First World Festival of Negro Arts, 1964-1966″ (The Graduate Center, CUNY)

Amy Rahn, “Joan Mitchell in France: An American Apatride” (Stony Brook University)

Yang Wang, “The ‘Cold’ Allure of the Non-Aligned: The PRC’s Artistic Affiliations with the Third World” (University of Colorado Denver)

Moderator: Katherine Carl (The James Gallery)

4:15–6:15pm: World Exhibitions
Nisa Ari, “Fair Competition: Opposing Internationalisms in Palestine’s ‘National’ Fairs of the 1930s” (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Dina Ramadan, “Remapping the Mediterranean: Cosmopolitanism, Third Worldism, and the Alexandria Biennale” (Bard College)

Nikolas Drosos, “The World’s Art at the World Fair: Art Exhibitions at the Brussels Expo of 1958″ (Independent Art Historian)

Delia Solomons, “Biennale Syndrome and Stateside Internationals in the 1960s” (Drexel University)

Moderator: Chelsea Haines (The Graduate Center, CUNY)

6:30–8pm: Legacies of Internationalism
Lucia Allais (Princeton University); Olga Ulloa Herrera (Inter-University Program for Latino Research), David Joselit (The Graduate Center, CUNY); Naeem Mohaiemen (Artist); Chika Okeke-Agulu (Princeton University)

Moderator: Claire Bishop (The Graduate Center, CUNY)

Admission is free.


Wednesday, March 8 
The Museum of Modern Art

2–5pm: Closed-door workshop with conference participants

6:30–8:30pm: post Presents: Katy Siegel on curating the exhibition Postwar
This lecture by Katy Siegel, Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Endowed Chair at Stony Brook University, focuses on the collective process of curating Postwar (with Okwui Enwezor and Ulrich Wilmes), an exhibition that casts the geopolitical reorganizing most commonly called World War II as a truly worldwide event, encompassing artists working in a devastated, divided Europe, the increasingly modernizing and powerful Americas, and the liberation struggles and new nations of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

Respondent: Romy Golan (The Graduate Center, CUNY)

Co-presented with Contemporary and Modern Art Perspectives (C-MAP) at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, this lecture is part of post Presents, a series of talks devoted to the cross-geographical consideration of modern and contemporary art. The sessions are an extension of C-MAP’s website post, MoMA’s online platform devoted to art from a global perspective.

Admission is free but RSVP is required and space is limited. RSVP here.


This conference is co-sponsored by the Center for the Humanities, Rewald Endowment of the PhD Program in Art History, and Doctoral Students’ Council at The Graduate Center, CUNY.

For more information, visit the Center for the Humanities’ website.


Conference: "Art, Institutions, and Internationalism: 1933–1966" at The Graduate Center, CUNY and MoMA

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