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  • 2016 Commencement Exercises

    History of Art's commencement will be held on Monday, May 16 at 9:00 a.m. in the Auditorium at BAMPFA. Students and their families may contact our Undergraduate Advisor for tickets. This year's commencement speaker is Rue Mapp, Founder of Outdoor Afro, and an alumna of this department (2009). 

  • Christopher Bollas: Mini-Course and Residency at the Townsend Center Fall 2016

    The seminar and residency will explore the work of the most influential psychoanalyst writing in English today, Christopher Bollas, who will be scholar-in-residence at the Townsend Center in the first week of November 2016. Bollas is widely known for his pioneering, polymathic, and maverick investigations of unconscious perception of objects and the object world, including human beings—work that has been highly suggestive for many domains of the humanities and social sciences—and more recently for his exploration of fractured unconsciousness (anxiety, hysteria, breakdown, and schizophrenia). Prior to Bollas’s visit, we will discuss his published works (including The Freudian Moment, The Shadow of the Object, Being a Character, and When the Sun Bursts: The Enigma of Schizophrenia) as well as forthcoming and in-progress work that he will provide. Students will present their own projects to the group, and will develop questions to be discussed in seminars with Bollas himself and for one-on-one meetings with him during his residency.

    Three seminar sessions will be convened by Professor Whitney Davis (History of Art) and will meet on three Wednesdays (September 21 and October 5 and 18) from 5:15 – 7 pm, at the Townsend Center. Participants must attend these seminars; the events of Bollas’s residency, which will take place in the afternoons/early evenings of October 31 and November 1, 2 and 3; and one-on-one meetings with Bollas.

    The seminar is open to graduate students in any program, for 1-unit credit. Students can register for the course by enrolling in Rhetoric 244A, History of Art 298, or Comparative Literature 298. Advance communication with and permission of the instructor required (wmdavis@berkeley.edu). You may also contact the Townsend Center at tansmana@berkeley.edu.
     

  • Kailani Polzak and William Ma named winners of Outstanding GSI Award for 2015-2016

    Help us in congratulating two of History of Art’s graduate students, Kailani Polzak and William Ma, recipients of the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award!


    The Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor (OGSI) Award honors over 200 UC Berkeley GSIs each year for their outstanding work in the teaching of undergraduates. These OGSI recipients are nominated from within their teaching department. The GSI Teaching & Resource Center gives the award recipients certificates of distinction and a celebratory Outstanding GSI Award Ceremony which will take place on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 in the International House.

    More about the Awardees:

    Kailani Polzak (2008) is a Ph.D. candidate working on British, French, and Russian voyages to the Pacific and the picturing of human difference in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

    William H. Ma (2008) is writing a dissertation on the art and craft workshops at the French Jesuit Orphanage Tushanwan in Shanghai in the early twentieth century. His main areas of interest include the artistic exchange between China and the West (Europe and America) during the late-imperial period, regionalism in Chinese art, and Chinese export art in Guangzhou (Canton).

  • Toward a Post-Culturalist Art History: Symposium on the Work of Whitney Davis at the Center for Humanities, Freie Universität, Dahlem, Berlin, April 27/28, 2016

    Symposium Description: Art-historical and visual-culture writing has often assumed that pictures produced in a given historical and geographical milieu track a visual culture, that is, established ways of seeing informed by a relatively stable configuration of shared meaning. Is this just an indispensable methodological abstraction, or is it possibly detrimental to our understanding of the temporally and/or geographically distant forms of pictorial experience? The symposium will tackle this question taking as its departing point the recent analytic work by Whitney Davis (in A General Theory of Visual Culture and the forthcoming Visuality and Virtuality: A Historical Phenomenology of Images and Pictures), who has been developing a model of “succession to visuality” as a historical process that is never totalized and is not well characterized in strong culturalist terms that assume a consolidated culture constituting one's visual experience. Professor Davis will present a public lecture in the evening of April 27 and in the morning of April 28 an overview of his position, followed by response papers by Prof. Gerhard Wolf (Florence), Prof. Kitty Zijlmans (Leiden), Dr. Hans-Christian Hönes (Warburg Institute, London), and Dr. Jakub Stejskal (Berlin). 

  • Whitney Davis gives 2016 Rumble Lecture in Classical Art

    Whitney Davis delivered the third annual Rumble Memorial Fund Lecture in Classical Art in the Great Hall at King's College London, under the title "Queering Classical Art." The event was sponsored by the Centre for Hellenic Studies and the Department of Classics at Kings. Professor Davis was introduced by Professor Roderick Beaton, the Director of CHS, and Dr Michael Squire, Lecturer in Classical Art at Kings, and the traditional speech of thanks was given by Professor Hugh Smith, Head of Classics at Kings. 

  • Patricia Berger Wins CAA Award for Distinguished Teaching of Art History

    The Department of History of Art at UC Berkeley is enormously pleased to announce that Patricia Berger (Professor of Chinese Art) has been awarded the 2016 College Art Association Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award. This award honors Professor Berger's many significant contributions to undergraduate and graduate mentoring. CAA will formally recognize its Awards for Distinction honorees at a special awards ceremony to be held during Convocation at the 104th Annual Conference in Washington, DC, on Wednesday evening, February 3, 2016, 5:30–7:00 PM.  

  • International conference on art and ecology co-organized by Sugata Ray

    Ecologies, Aesthetics, and Histories of Art​ ​is conceived as an intellectual laboratory to address the ecological and aesthetic dimensions of human interaction with geographical, geological, botanical, zoological, astronomical, and climatic formations from the micro to a planetary scale. How was the interrelationship between the nonhuman and the human visually configured in geographically distinct, yet often interconnected, terrains in different moments of history? How did striated knowledge-systems, the agentive qualities of matter, and aesthetic practices shape such configurations, topographies, and spatial orders? To what extent were particular aesthetic practices related to the economies of religious systems or social arrangements? What are the conceptual interconnections, or conversely interstices, between theories of nature, ecology, environment, and aesthetics? While literary ecocriticism has become a field of intense debate over the last decades, the ecological turn in visual culture studies is still at its early stage. The conference thus aims to bring art history, a discipline that has for long been concerned with notions of landscape, nature, materiality, and aesthetic processes, into this emerging conversation. The conference aims to act as a crucial interpolation in the conversation between ecological and aesthetic studies, envisaged here in a historical and transcultural perspective from the earliest known human interaction with the natural environment to the present day.

    S​peakers: Dipesh Chakrabarty (University of Chicago); Adam Herring (Southern Methodist University); Timothy Ingold (University of Aberdeen); Lihong Liu (National Gallery of Art, Washington); Venugopal Maddipati (Ambedkar University); Michael Marder (The University of the Basque Country, Vitoria-Gasteiz); Sandy Prita Meier (University of Illinois); Spyros Papapetros (Princeton University); Felix Pirson (Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Istanbul); Margarete Pratschke (ETH Zürich); Peter Schneemann (Universität Bern); Mimi Yiengpruksawan (Yale University)

     

    Ecologies, Aesthetics, and Histories of Art
    Organized by Hannah Baader, Sugata Ray, and Gerhard Wolf​
    Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz Max-Planck-Institut, December 14-15, 2015
    Conference website
     

  • Award to Professor Julia Bryan-Wilson

    Associate Professor Julia Bryan-Wilson has been awarded a Millard Meiss Publication Fund grant from the College Art Association for her forthcoming book Fray: Art and Textile Politics since the 1970s (University of Chicago Press).

  • Anticipating BAM Reopening, Students in Collaboration

    Students in Professor Julia Bryan-Wilson's contemporary art history class are collaborating with curator Connie Lewallen for the upcoming show Mind Over Matter, opening at the Berkeley Art Museum in fall 2016. The undergraduates are researching some of the objects, photographs, and ephemera in the exhibit—which focuses on the museum's rich holdings in conceptual art—and writing essays for the online exhibition catalogue. Bryan-Wilson and Lewallen have been working together for over a year to facilitate this collaboration.