Symposium: Association of Historians of American Art (Oct. 14-15, 2021)

Registration is now open for AHAA’s Sixth Biennial Symposium (October 14–15, 2021), a virtual event. Register now!

The Association of Historians of American Art, one of the oldest membership organizations devoted to studying American art, will hold its biennial symposium in fall 2021. Jointly organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the University of Maryland, this event will celebrate the fortieth anniversary of AHAA (2020) and the fiftieth anniversary of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s preeminent fellowship program.

The two-day symposium on Thursday, October 14 and Friday, October 15 will feature presentations of new research, roundtable discussions, and Q&A sessions. While the symposium itself will be virtual, the schedule has been planned to allow for maximum discussion and interaction amongst our members. An optional Saturday schedule will also include in-person tours of exhibitions at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and David C. Driskell Center, University of Maryland, and a cocktail reception in downtown Washington D.C.

Registration Instructions
Registration for the symposium is free, but an active membership in AHAA is required to watch all pre-recorded presentations and attend all live virtual events. AHAA offers several levels of membership: Student/Basic ($35), Member ($50), Supporter ($200), Lifetime (one-time payment of $500), and Institutional ($500). To learn more about becoming a member, please visit AHAA Membership.

We apologize that our website does not offer the capability of joining or renewing your membership and registering for the symposium in a single transaction. Instead, you will have to join or renew your membership FIRST and then register for the symposium. Visit this link to join AHAA or renew your membership. Once you have verified your membership status, please click here to register for the symposium.

If you would like to watch ONLY the keynote lecture (through a pre-recorded presentation and a live Q&A on Friday, October 15, from 4:30–5:00), you are welcome to do so without becoming a member of AHAA. To register for this single event only, please click here.

Symposium Schedule
Please note that all recorded presentations will be available to registered attendees on Monday, October 4, 2021. Attendees are invited to watch these presentations in advance of the live discussions scheduled below. All times listed below are EST.

Thursday, October 14 (virtual)
9:30 – 10:15am: Session I: Lightning Round (LIVE Q&A)
Moderated by Joshua Shannon, University of Maryland

Katherine Fein, Columbia University
“Tusk, Breast, and Skin: The Intimate Ecologies of Ivory Miniatures”

Lucy Mounfield, University of Nottingham
“’Quiet Good for an Amateur!’: Vivian Maier, Amateurism, and the Photographic Periphery”

Danya Epstein, Southern Methodist University
“Back to the Future: Recursivity and Repertoire in the Work of Dennis Numkena”

Emma Silverman, National Park Service
“What a Doll: Queering the Body in Greer Lankton’s Photographs”

11:30am – 12:15pm: Session II: Health and the Body (LIVE Q&A)
Moderated by Tess Korobkin, University of Maryland

Caitlin Beach, Fordham University
“Edmonia Lewis and the Poetics of Plaster”

Kristin Nassif, University of Delaware
“Blinding Sight: Vision and Spectacles in John Haberle’s Trompe l’Oeil Paintings”

Janine DeFeo, The Graduate Center, City University of New York
“Body and Self: Adrian Piper’s Food for the Spirit and the Discourses of Anorexia Nervosa”

1:15 – 1:45pm: Session III: New Perspectives on Portraiture and Still Life (LIVE Q&A)
Moderated by Nika Elder, American University

Lea Stephenson, University of Delaware
“Tactile Gestures and Embodied Objects: Newport Portraiture and Landscapes of Slavery”

Stephen Mandravelis, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
“Towards a Reconsideration of Charles Bird King”

2:30 – 3:00pm: Session IV: Curatorial Landmarks (LIVE Q&A)
Moderated by Curlee R. Holton, David C. Driskell Center, University of Maryland

Maya Harakawa, The Graduate Center, City University of New York
“Romare Bearden’s Harlem Exhibition, 1966-1967”

Danielle O’Steen, Kreeger Museum
“Lou Stovall in Washington: On the Craft of Screenprinting”

4:15 – 5:00pm: Session V: Digital Epistemologies (LIVE Q&A)
Moderated by Melanee Harvey, Howard University

Kay Wells, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
“Inventing Digital Humanities through the Index of American Design”

Laura Smith, Michigan State University
“Relational Landscapes: Teaching Chaco Canyon with Immersive Technology”

Karen Mary Davalos, University of Minnesota
Constance Cortez, University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley
“Decolonizing American Art History through Digital Humanities”

Friday, October 15, 2021 (virtual)
9:30 – 10:15am: Session VI: Iconographies of Ethnicity (LIVE Q&A)
Moderated by Grace Yasumura, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Patricia Johnston, College of the Holy Cross
“‘I’ is for ‘Italian’: Francis W. Edmonds and the Image Peddler in Nineteenth-Century American Visual Culture”

Erika Pazian, University of Minnesota Duluth
“In the In-Between: Las Poblanas and the Gendered Occupation of Space in Nineteenth-Century North America”

Colleen Stockmann, Gustavus Adolphus College
“Weeds and Wildflowers: Drawing Plant Politics in New York, 1850-1870”

10:45 – 11:45pm: Session VII: Iconoclasm (LIVE ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION)
Co-Chairs: Wendy Bellion and Jennifer Van Horn, University of Delaware
Dana Byrd, Bowdoin College
Ellery Foutch, Middlebury College
Philippe Halbert, Yale University
J. M. Mancini, Maynooth University, Ireland
John Ott, Boston University/James Madison University

1:00 – 1:45pm: Session VIII: Imperialism (LIVE Q&A)
Moderated by Leslie Ureña, National Portrait Gallery

Maggie Cao, University of North Carolina
“Oceanography and Imperialism in Homer’s Gulf Stream”

Ellen Tani, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art
“Enmeshed: Senga Nengudi’s Performative Nylon Sculptures and Afro-Asian Ritual”

Mallory Nanny, Florida State University
“An-My Lê’s Small Wars: Re-enacting Memories of an Ongoing War”

2:45 – 3:30pm: Session IX: A Land Acknowledgement is Not Enough: Why Indigenous Art Must Guide a New American Art (LIVE ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION)
Mindy N. Besaw, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (Session Co-Chair)
Ashley Holland (Cherokee Nation), Art Bridges Foundation (Session Co-Chair)
Wanda Nanibush (Anishinaabe-kwe), Art Gallery of Ontario
Georgiana Uhlyarik, Art Gallery of Ontario

4:30 – 5:00pm: Keynote (LIVE Q&A)
Moderated by Jordana Saggese, University of Maryland and Symposium Co-Chair

Jennifer A. González, University of California, Santa Cruz
“Speech and Silence”

5:15 – 6:15pm: Virtual Reception

Author: Jacqueline Francis

Writer, educator, curator, arts consultant, and occasional artist in San Francisco, California. Follow me on Twitter @JackieFrancisSF and Instagram--jackiefrancissf

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