Ethics and Labor in Art History is a two-day convening of art history graduate students with the objective of articulating the state of the field, the conditions of our employment, and the ethical transgressions and future directions of the discipline.
Workshop dates: Thursday, April 8 and Friday, April 9, 2021
First, we must collectively examine our own positionalities, entanglements and investments. Graduate students who are simultaneously students and educators, are already shaping and being shaped by art history, whether they are sitting around a seminar table in discussion or standing behind a lectern of an undergraduate survey. Their experiences offer unique insights into the expectations, demands, and realities of the humanities. Since the advent of post-colonial studies, scholars have acknowledged that art history is a colonial project whose conventional methodologies and subjects of study have been criticized for being Eurocentric and straightforwardly dismissing the other. Graduate students have, unfortunately, inherited this project and often perpetuate it through standardized research models or traditional approaches to pedagogy. At the same time, emerging art historians more readily acknowledge their unique subject positions, due in large part to their awareness of the myriad barriers of entry into the field, which range from economic precarity to arduous racial, gender, and LGBTQ politics, geopolitical inequality, and maintenance of conventional disciplinary boundaries.
Recent responses to the colonialism of art history have posed important questions concerning the ethics of the field and how young scholars can address this criticism through their research and in their teaching. To this end, how do art history students confront the burdens of their field while promoting its relevance? How do they envision the future of art history, its teaching, and its audiences? How can they work toward diversity and inclusivity in the art history classroom? How do they shape their own scholarly paths while also navigating tenuous working conditions and a precarious field of employment? How can emerging art historians enact change in an artworld of predominantly white voices and while elite institutions in urban centers dominate discourse?
This two-day convening equally prioritizes knowledge gleaned from peers and the expertise of established scholars and artists. The first day engages stated questions from the position of ‘apprentice’ in small discussion groups, self-assessing many states of the field. The second day offers discussion-based seminar and workshop to more pragmatically grapple with, envision and transform the production and teaching of art history.
The Ethics Labor in Art History convening is organized by María Beatriz H. Carrión and Lauren Rosenblum, doctoral students in Art History and sponsored by the James Gallery, The Graduate Center, CUNY.
How to apply
Participation is limited and attendance at both days of events is requested.
Participants will receive a stipend of $100.00 USD.
To apply please fill out the application questionnaire here by Monday, March 15, 2021. Students will be notified by Tuesday March 23, 2021. Please contact ethicsandlaborARH@gmail.com if you have any questions.