Second Annual Feminist Art History Conference: Nov. 4-6, 2011.

Katzen Arts Center, American University

Conference registration is open!

The Art History Program of American University (Department of Art, College of Arts and Sciences) announces the second annual Feminist Art History Conference which will take place from Friday, November 4 to Sunday, November 6, 2011. Corollary events begin on Friday afternoon (12:00-6:00 pm) at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC with a lunch, tour, and program in conjunction with the exhibition Gertrude Stein: Five Stories. Events continue on Friday evening at American University, with a reception and concert of choral music entitled “Gender Settings.” The conference sessions will take place on the American University (AU) campus in Northwest Washington, D.C. on Saturday (9:30 am to 5:30 pm) and Sunday (10:00 am until 12:30 pm).  The keynote address will be presented on Saturday evening at 7:00 pm, following a reception.

First Annual Feminist Art History Conference attendees enjoying the reception.

The second annual Feminist Art History Conference (FAHC) continues to explore the legacy of two pioneering feminist art historians, Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard, who are now professors emerita of art history at AU. This year’s conference had more than 90 proposal submissions and will include 51 papers in twelve sessions. The papers will span a broad range of topics and time periods, from the medieval era to contemporary art. Together they will demonstrate the myriad ways in which feminist research and interpretation have spread across the spectrum of art historical analysis and scholarship.

The keynote address will be presented by Mary D. Sheriff, W.R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Art History at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her talk is entitled “The Future of Feminist Art History: Where Have We Come From, Where Are We Going?” In addition to her first book, Fragonard: Art and Eroticism (1990), Sheriff has published The Exceptional Woman: Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun and the Cultural Politics of Art (1997), Moved by Love: Inspired Artists and Deviant Women in Eighteenth Century France (2008), edited the anthology Cultural Contact and the Making of European Art Since the Age of Exploration (2010), and written numerous articles and reviews.  As a deeply engaged feminist art historian, Sheriff has motivated numerous graduate students at UNC-CH to develop feminist-focused dissertations and other research projects, and her publications have inspired feminist scholarship internationally.

First Annual Feminist Art History Conference attendees awaiting the start of a session.

At the first FAHC in 2010, participants found a lively forum in which to share views, debate issues, and network in an exciting synergy of feminist interchanges. The impressive number of proposals submitted for this second conference demonstrates the ongoing centrality of the issues raised by feminist art history—a testimony to the continuing vitality of research by feminist scholars developed over the past four decades.  Given that Washington, D.C., is becoming a center for the nexus of gender and art, with the AU Art History Program’s longstanding emphasis on feminist methodologies, and the active presence of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, conference planners hope that the annual Feminist Art History Conference at American University will function as a worthy successor to the Barnard College Feminist Art History Conference in New York, which was an important forum for feminist scholarship throughout the 1990s.

The conference is free and open to the public. Advance registration (before 5 pm EST, Friday, October 28) is recommended.  Please visit the conference web site for more detailed information.

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