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  • Lauren Kroiz Essay in Panorama's Debut "Bully Pulpit"

    The online journal of American art history Panorama features an essay by Lauren Kroiz in a new section that will pair short scholarly and polemical essays with brief responses from academics, curators, critics, and other interpreters of American art and visual culture. 

     

    The inaugural "Bully Pulpit" considers a historical question with significant implications for contemporary art history: how have American art historians defined and reconceived their discipline during past moments of severe economic, political, and institutional crisis? The academic status and disciplinary objectives of art history have of course inspired much discussion in recent years. Facing myriad new challenges—including the reorientation of higher education around scientific and technical inquiry, cutbacks in support for arts education, and the intertwined problems of widening income gaps and narrowing access to the fine arts—art historians have begun to question the means and ends of their field with a new intensity.
    The section’s lead essay, written by Lauren Kroiz, demonstrates that these crisis-fueled self-assessments have a deep history. Kroiz’s essay, “Parnassus Abolished,” examines the bold arguments for disciplinary reform that Iowa art historian Lester Longman made during his brief tenure as editor of the College Art Association periodical Parnassus (1940-41). As Longman was well aware, and as Kroiz explores, this exercise served as a mirror for bigger debates about American art and art history during the tumultuous interwar years. 

  • Julia Bryan-Wilson a Finalist for Writing Award

    Julia Bryan-Wilson has been named a finalist in the 2015 Absolut Art Writing Award, an international prize that recognizes exceptional achievement in art criticism. The previous (and inaugural) winner of this award was Coco Fusco.


     

  • Lisa Trever Wins Engaged Anthropology Grant

    Lisa Trever has received an Engaged Anthropology Grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation to return to Peru and organize a series of scholarly events and community-focused projects tied to her dissertation fieldwork. She writes about the experience here.

  • Department Faculty and Students to Speak at CAA

    Five members of the Department will present papers at the College Art Association's annual meetings in New York, February 11-14, 2015.  Please see the list of titles and abstracts here.

  • New Book by Andrew Stewart

    The Department is pleased to announce the publication of a new book by Andrew Stewart, Art in the Hellenistic World.

    From the Cambridge University Press announcement:

    "What was Hellenistic art, and what were its contexts, aims, achievements, and impact? This textbook introduces students to these questions and offers a series of answers to them. Its twelve chapters and two “focus” sections examine Hellenistic sculpture, painting, luxury arts, and architecture. Thematically organized, spanning the three centuries from Alexander to Augustus, and ranging geographically from Italy to India and the Black Sea to Nubia, the book examines key monuments of Hellenistic art in relation to the great political, social, cultural, and intellectual issues of the time. It is illustrated with 170 photographs (mostly in color, and many never before published) and contextualized through excerpts from Hellenistic literature and inscriptions. Helpful ancillary features include maps, appendices with background on Hellenistic artists and translations of key documents, a full glossary, a timeline, brief biographies of key figures, suggestions for further reading, and bibliographical references."

  • New Semester, New Courses

    The 2014-15 academic year is off to a strong start with the offering of many new courses.  Among them is Professor Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby and Professor Lisa Trever's joint seminar in The Bancroft Library: Photography, Archaeology, and Maya Ruins: The Frenchman Desiré Charnay in Mexico. Here, Grigsby and students examine and describe Charnay's 1859 double plate photograph from the site of Mitla (Oaxaca). Photograph by Lisa Trever. 

  • Department Welcomes New Faculty, Staff and Students

    The Department is pleased to welcome two new graduate students, a new member of the department's Visual Resources Center staff, and an Assistant Professor of global modern art.  We are looking forward to a great year! 

  • Art History Major Honored by the University

    The Berkeley Wall of Fame now includes an art historian! Rue Mapp (HA ’09) joins Joan Didion, Gregory Peck, Steve Wozniak, Alice Waters, and Jay DeFeo among those singled out by the University for exceptional achievement.  Inspired by Professors Lovell and McBride’s “The American Forest, Its Ecology, History, and Representation," a course about the power of images to change behavior and affect public policy, Rue -- scarcely out of college -- founded Outdoor Afro. This organization is dedicated to creating “interest communities, events, and partnerships that support diverse participation in the Great Outdoors,” reconnecting “African-Americans with natural spaces and one another through recreational activities such as camping, hiking, biking, birding, fishing, gardening, [and] skiing.” Twice invited to the White House for discussions ranging from land use policy to childhood obesity, Rue now is “exploring the possible intersections between the Wilderness Act and the Civil Rights Act. What did it mean fifty years ago when they were each signed, and why should it matter today -- or in the future?”
     

  • Spaces of Water: New Paradigms in Ecocritical Enquiry

    An international conference on global water systems and cultures of spatiality in India.

    Organizers: Sugata Ray, History of Art Department, University of California, Berkeley (in association with the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi and Venugopal Maddipati, School of Design, Ambedkar University, Delhi)
    Dates: July 24-25, 2014
    Venue: Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Teen Murti Bhawan, New Delhi, India 110011 (Details here)

    Concept note: The reciprocal relationship between global water systems and cultures of spatiality in constituting historical events across time and space has received little attention in ecohistories of India. Spaces of Water: New Paradigms in Ecocritical Enquiry is an attempt to address this opacity in environmental studies by bringing together leading scholars, artists, architects, and activists from India, Europe, and the United States to articulate new forms of ecocritical thinking that reads the cultural as both determining and being determined by the environmental. How does the environment shape, and is shaped by, the ontological domain of affective spatialities? Over two days, speakers will rethink the intersections between water systems and the phenomenology of spatial cultures in early modern, colonial, and contemporary India to explore the topographies of the concept-term waterscape in the wake of environmental histories and ecocriticism more broadly.

  • The Departments of History of Art and Italian Studies Announce a Joint Search

    Assistant Professor of Renaissance/Early Modern Visual Culture in the Mediterranean world (tenure-track). Appointment effective July 1, 2015; candidates must have Ph.D. dissertation or equivalent underway at time of application. The Departments seek a specialist within the period (approx. 1300-1600) with strong interdisciplinary and/or comparative interests extending geographically beyond the boundaries of the Italian peninsula and the ability to contribute to the curricula and research profiles of both History of Art and Italian Studies. Areas of interest might include the relations between visual, verbal and material culture; travel studies; architectural history; cultural exchange between Europe and the East and/or Africa, or the New World. Teaching at both undergraduate and graduate levels is expected, including the ability to teach in the Italian language where relevant.  Full text of ad and instructions on how to apply can be found here.