2020 Autumn Term
|Wednesday 7th October 2020||Stephanie Schwartz, Steve Edwards, Tamar Garb and John David Rhodes|
Autumn 2020 Research Seminar Series: Politics and the Image
With special inaugural book launch, 'Walker Evans, No Politics' by Dr Stephanie Schwartz.
|Wednesday 18th November 2020||Professor Briony Fer and Dr Nicholas Robbins.|
Autumn 2020 Research Seminar Series: The Politics of Scale.
|Please email our Events Officer Helena Vowles-Shorrock for details about how to access this event.|
2021 Spring Term
|Thursday 28th January, 5.30pm||Jennifer Sichel (University of Chicago)||‘The Disintegration of a Critic: Gene Swenson, Jill Johnston, and Antipsychiatry’|
Full details here:
|Wednesday 3rd February, 2pm||Alice Procter, with the participation of Aparna Kumar, Emily Floyd and Bob Mills||The Whole Picture: A Conversation with Alice Procter of Uncomfortable Art Tours|
Full details here:
|Thursday 11th February, 5.30pm||Pamela Corey (Fulbright University Vietnam)||‘Affective Communities: Imagining Saigon/Vietnam’|
ABSTRACT: During the attack on the United States Capitol on 6 January 2021, an alarming range of extremist signs and symbols of hate adorned the garments of pro-Trump supporters and the flags they paraded. Among these was the flag of the former Republic of Vietnam, more commonly known as South Vietnam, whose capital city of Saigon fell to communist forces in 1975 and spurred the exodus of over a million Vietnamese to the United States and other parts of the world. The participation of these former refugees in the riot appears bewildering, but it represents what Viet Thanh Nguyen describes as the radicalized nostalgia fostered within these diasporic communities for the lost homeland, and their virulent hatred of communism, stoked by Trump’s fearmongering about the demise of American democracy under Biden’s presidency.
|Thursday 4th March, 5.30pm||Susanna Berger (University of Southern California)||‘Anamorphic Revelations and Justifiable Obscurity’|
ABSTRACT: In late sixteenth-century Italy, the rhetorical foundations of sacred visual art were laid out directly by Gabriele Paleotti (1522–1597), the Bishop of Bologna, who wrote in his famous post-Tridentine treatise that images "are supposed to move the hearts of observers to devotion and the true cult of God". Given the longstanding elevation of clarity in the West from Aristotle onwards as a rhetorical virtue and the concomitant denigration of obscurity as a hindrance to persuasive discourse, the popularity in Counter-Reformation circles of anamorphic images, which submerge observers into states of perceptual confusion, is somewhat counter-intuitive. This talk argues that the contrast between confusion and clarity evoked by anamorphoses made the experience of distinctness or clear perception without obscurity particularly palpable. I also contend that visual discernment gained through anamorphoses was understood to assist in a movement toward an experience of an inner, spiritual discernment.
|Thursday 25th March, 5.30pm||Mia L. Bagneris (Tulane University)||‘Imagining the Oriental South: The Enslaved Mixed-Race Beauty in British Art and Visual Culture, c. 1865-1880'|
ABSTRACT: Using works like John Bell’s Octoroon (1868) and Robert Gavin’s Quadroon Girl (ca. 1872) as case studies, this talk explores Britons’ pronounced and continued fascination with the figure of the enslaved American mixed-race beauty—even and especially afterthe abolition of slavery in the United States made the potential political suasion of such figures moot. It analyses marked visual and rhetorical echoes between representations of the so-called “tragic” mulatto, quadroon, or octoroon and concurrent expressions of Orientalism. Ultimately it argues that, against the upright image of Victorian England, the American South—and especially Catholic Louisiana—could be imagined as a place of luxury, debauchery, and desire, a perfect echo to the Orient in the British popular imagination and one made stronger by the perceived association of both regions with the traffic in pretty women as sex slaves.