Message from the Chair

Shannon Jackson

Shannon Jackson

Fall 2023 Welcome

As the incoming department chair of History of Art, it is a thrill to welcome students, staff, and faculty back to campus as we launch a new academic year. History of Art occupies a special place on the campus at UC Berkeley, serving as a connector amongst histories, sites, people, and pedagogies committed to understanding the role of the arts in the evolution of our world.

While I get my sea legs as a new department chair, our stellar faculty and staff have been busily stewarding and coordinating a range of exciting developments. Here is just a sample of what we have to look forward to in the year ahead.

First off, we are offering an exciting slate of lecture courses and seminars that investigate a range of epochs and regions of the world. Many take advantage of university programs that forge new pathways for undergraduates and that support experimental and collaborative teaching. We’ll celebrate the successes of our education programs and bestow a few more student prizes at our Fall Welcome Back Lunch on September 13.

Our graduate program continues to flourish as doctoral students develop their research and teaching portfolios. We’re thrilled to welcome Kevin Morales-Bernabe, Lily Callender, and Brishti Madok as incoming graduate students and look forward to a new cycle of admissions in the coming year.

More excitement lies ahead. History of Art is poised to launch a new faculty search in the Visual Cultures of Latin America, focusing on Indigenous, Pre-Colonial, and Colonial perspectives. This hire promises to expand the department’s intellectual reach while advancing our ongoing commitment to diversifying and decolonizing the histories of art.

As the year progresses, we will offer a bouquet of public programs, including visiting lectures, workshops, and symposia. For now, mark your calendars for Thursday September 7 with a lecture on “The Animal Question” in Chinese relations delivered by Huiyau Chen. And mark them again for November 1, when T’ai Smith will be delivering our annual Stoddard Lecture.

Many of the V-Lab’s programs will be on pause this semester, but we look forward to its renewal after examining its staffing and pedagogical model. Meanwhile, stay tuned for the renewal of our department’s own visual identity. Yes, we will soon be launching a new website for the department, one that we hope will make our mission, programs, and news easier to navigate.

Finally, while we wait suspensefully for a new website, while we launch a new round of courses and research projects, take some time to peruse the History of Art department’s annual newsletter. It is chockfull of stories, people, interviews, and news that highlight the extraordinary range and achievements of our students, faculty, and alumni.

Much more lies ahead. While this note serves as both a welcome to the department and an e-introduction to me, I look forward to meeting all of the HA community in person in the coming weeks.

Welcome to all,

Shannon Jackson
Chair, History of Art
Cyrus and Michelle Hadidi Professor of the Arts & Humanities

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