September 21, 2020

Interrogating Global Contemporary Art: Research, Pedagogy, Museums

Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts at the University of Houston

From left: David Joselit. Photo: Mary Ellen Carroll. Mari Carmen Ramírez. Photo: Timothy Greenfield Sanders, courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Leah Dickerman. Atreyee Gupta.

The University of Houston MA in Art History Program invites the international public to join us for a series of free online conversations on the topic of Interrogating Global Contemporary Art: Research, Pedagogy, Museums, aimed at illuminating the idea of global contemporary art. Individual presentations by preeminent scholars and curators will highlight diverse approaches to shaping the notion of global contemporary art through research, pedagogy, exhibition-making, and public outreach. The series culminates in a Global Roundtable that reconvenes all speakers in dynamic group conversation.

We ask: What is global contemporary art and how is it remaking approaches to artistic practice, scholarship, and curation? In a moment of cultural reckoning that has rendered past efforts at diversifying and expanding the canon insufficient, how can the idea of global contemporary art help us to critically and ethically engage in the reconstruction of a historically exclusive discipline? As academic programs and museums adopt its rhetoric—along with its weaknesses and blindspots—is global contemporary art here to stay? Presented in a lively and engaging format, the series will examine the stakes of the global contemporary paradigm as scholars, educators, and curators urgently push to reinvent the discipline and its institutions. 

David Joselit: October 8, 2:30pm CDT
Professor of Art, Film and Visual Studies at Harvard University

Mari Carmen Ramírez: October 13, 3pm CDT
Wortham Curator of Latin American Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Leah Dickerman: October 15, 2:30pm CDT
Director of Editorial and Content Strategy at The Museum of Modern Art

Atreyee Gupta: October 28, 2:30pm CDT
Assistant Professor of Global Modern Art and South and  Southeast Asian Art at the University of California, Berkeley

Global Roundtable: November 9, 2pm CST

Please visit the series website for further information, including details on how to join the conversations, access related readings, and receive any additional updates, along with links for viewing livestreams or archived recordings.

Organized by UH Art History faculty members Natilee Harren, Sandra Zalman, and Postdoctoral Fellow Dorota Biczel with support from the University of Houston Division of Research and with promotional support from Blaffer Art Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

The MA in Art History Program at the University of Houston provides graduate students with a firm grounding in the discipline of art history in the context of a Tier-1 urban research university that has longstanding partnerships with the region’s world-class arts institutions. Year-long funded fellowships are awarded each year at the Menil Collection, Project Row Houses, and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Graduate students also regularly hold a funded position as arts editor at the university’s highly-regarded literary journal Gulf Coast. Located in the School of Art, art history graduate students develop their expertise in conversation with a peer group that includes artists and designers working across the fields of painting, sculpture, photography, digital media, and experimental, interdisciplinary practices. In addition to a rigorous grounding in art history, curatorial theory and practices as well as art criticism are among the program’s specialties; individual students also have access to dedicated curatorial spaces for course or MA thesis-related projects. Scholarships are available to provide non-local and international students with low, in-state tuition rates. Applications are due in January each year.

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