The 2015 inaugural exhibition of the new Whitney Museum of American Art, America Is Hard to See, charted a largely unconventional history of modern American art built around issues that have galvanized United States artists, pressing them into often uncomfortable relationships with challenging political and social contexts, including the history of slavery, labor unrest and the Vietnam War–and effectively underscoring the point that American is hard to see.
In recent years, scores of museum exhibitions, books and catalogues have worked to reimagine the field among these lines, telling the history of United States art in all of its multilayered, messy complexity. It is not common to find major shows of previously suppressed African-American and Latinx artists as well as scholarly studies of forgotten women and LGBTQ artists. Yet in an era of unprecedented economic inequality, Black Lives Matter, the rise of the alternative right, and anti-immigration reform, there remains much to be done.
This panel seeks to address where American art history from colonial times to the present sits in our twenty-first century classrooms, galleries, museums, blogs and journals–and, more importantly, what directions we might pursue for its future growth. We welcome papers representing all historical periods in American art as well as new avenues of research and methodological inquiry.
Please send a one-page abstract and short c.v. by March 15, 2017, to firstname.lastname@example.org
AHAA seeks to included new voices, and we encourage younger scholars to make submissions. Chairs and panelists of AHAA-sponsored sessions must be current members of AHAA and CAA.