December 2, 2019

Call for papers: 2020 Nasher Prize Graduate Symposium on Michael Rakowitz

Nasher Sculpture Center

Michael Rakowitz, The invisible enemy should not exist, 2007–ongoing. Drawings, cardboard and newspaper, sculptures, museum labels, sound. Courtesy of the artist. 

Graduate students from around the world are invited to present scholarly work on a host of questions and topics related to 2020 Nasher Prize Laureate, Michael Rakowitz at the annual Nasher Prize Graduate Symposium. The symposium offers master’s and doctoral students from any academic discipline the opportunity to present scholarly work on a host of questions and topics related to each year’s new Laureate. Submissions should address themes related to the work of the 2020 Nasher Prize Laureate Michael Rakowitz. This year’s symposium will be moderated by Dr. Nada Shabout of University of North Texas, founding president of the Association for Modern and Contemporary Art from the Arab World, Iran and Turkey.

Addressing a broad audience of art historians and museum professionals, participants will receive feedback from fellow presenters, an invited keynote speaker, and audience members. Students selected to present papers will also have their work published in the annual symposium compendium, together with the paper delivered by the keynote speaker, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, (curator, researcher, scholar, and director of Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea).

Suggested Topics for the 2020 Nasher Prize Graduate Symposium:
–Provisional architecture within sculpture
–Archaeology and the politics of cultural heritage
–Food in social practice and community-healing
–Traditional sculptural methods in contemporary sculptural practice
–Transmissions of skill or expertise as forms of resistance to cultural erasure
–Social media and e-commerce sites as paths of research
–Artistic responses to the destruction of cultural patrimony

Complete proposals must include the following:
–Contact information, participant’s field and university affiliation, and CV
–Paper title and abstract of no more than 200 words, and three to five keywords

Proposals are due by Sunday, December 15, 2019.

Send submissions and questions to symposium [​at​]

We hope to notify successful applicants by January 13, 2020. Registration information will follow. With proof of need, eligible candidates may be considered for scholarship funding to offset travel costs.

About Michael Rakowitz, 2020 Nasher Prize Laureate
Michael Rakowitz was born in 1973 in Great Neck, New York; he lives and works in Chicago, Illinois and is professor of art theory and practice at Northwestern University. He studied at Purchase College, State University of New York, where he received a BFA in 1995 and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, graduating with a Master of Science in Visual Studies in 1998. His recent retrospective opened at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, in 2019, traveling to Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rivoli-Torino and, in 2020 is scheduled to open at the Jameel Art Centre, Dubai. It was preceded by Backstroke of the West, a survey exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago in 2018.

He has exhibited in venues including dOCUMENTA(13); The Museum of Modern Art, New York; MoMA/PS1, New York; Tate Modern, London; MassMOCA; Castello di Rivoli; the 10th and 14th Istanbul Biennials; the Sharjah Biennials 8 and 14; the Tirana Biennale; and Transmediale 05.

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