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The following is a list of History of Art departmental events, events the department is co-sponsoring, and events involving History of Art faculty. Click on event title for more info.

Intimacies: Friction, Restoration, Action.

History of Art Graduate Student Symposium
Saturday, October 8, 2022
9:00 AM-5:00 PM
Assembly Hall, 4th floor Rackham Graduate School (Horace H.) Map
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Deepti Misri, University of Colorado Boulder

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, human-to-human intimacy has been both profoundly desired and intensely feared. Simultaneously a source of connection and affliction, intimacy generates a suite of meanings. At the same time, we can locate intimacy—its frictions as well as its potentials—across the globe in both the distant and near past.

It figures, for example, in the post-conquest Andes. Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala, a Quechua nobleman, narrated the violence of Spanish colonization—a force of intimacy typically embedded in the dominant narrative of “contact” or “encounter”—and the eradication of Andean lifeways in his El primer nueva corónica y buen gobierno [The First New Chronicle and Good Government]. The illustrations accompanying this 1200-page letter, written around 1615, represent the frictional collision of colonizers and native Andeans by picturing a world out of order, or pachacuti—a “world upside down.”

Affective, felt-sensing, and intimate encounters have also forged a platform of coalition across identities and locations. In the context of premodern South Asia, poetic expressions of utmost devotion to deities (bhakti) often comprised an intimate relationship with the divine. This devotion centered on receiving darśana, or a glimpse of the deity. In one such example, Tamil Alvar saint Tiruppan Alvar sang to the Hindu-god Vishnu, “His beautiful red lips! They have stolen my heart away!” Coming from a historically marginalized community that was unable to enter temples to see images of Vishnu, Tiruppan Alvar’s intimate devotion challenged the socio-political boundaries of medieval southern Indian Hindu communities. Likewise, in The Kitchen Table series (1990), Carrie Mae Weems stages everyday activities connoting intimacy—combing hair, putting on makeup with her daughter, playing cards while smoking—all at her kitchen table. Consciously collapsing the borders between the personal, private, and political, Weems’ work exemplifies what could be considered a public, even restorative, form of intimacy. In these ways, intimacy is both a historical framework and a method. It invites various tentative forms of theorization and historicization to coexist while being put in contest, thereby creating space for open-ended and speculative inquiries into its nature and potential.

Intimacies: Friction, Restoration, Action invites participants to engage with the following questions: how is intimacy imagined and imaged across time and space? What narratives are tied to ideas of intimacy? How have the binary figurations of public and private, personal and political contributed to the ways that intimacy is understood? How can we conceive of alternative practices of intimacy, including what might be called “intimate sociality”? How does intimacy serve as a potent activist and artistic method in the face of the ongoing global pandemic, at the same time that it is jeopardized by public health concerns, closed borders, and ever-intensifying care labor?

Symposium schedule

9:00am–9:15am: Welcome

9:15am–11:15am: PANEL I: INTIMATE BODIES

Indranil Banerjee, “Lazzat al-Nisa in Translation: Pornography, Titillation, and Printed Book in Colonial India” (virtual presentation)

Benjamin Allsopp, “Knowing and Seeing the Secrets of Women: An Illumination of The Dissection of Agrippina in John the Fearless’ De cas des nobles hommes et femmes”

Sizhao Yi, “Beyond the Boudoir: The Lives of a Lotus Shoe and the Woman Who Made/Worn It”

Dylan Volk, “ ‘Trouble Makers’: Trans Feminism, Tribadism, and the Force of Friction”


11:15am–11:30am: Break


11:30am–1:00pm: PANEL II: TOWARDS A COLLECTIVE INTIMACY

Ifsha Zehra, “Personal, Political, and Intimate: Evolving Feminist Activism in Kashmir” (virtual presentation)

Liliana Clavijo, “‘Estallido social’ in Colombia 2021. Corporality and Resistance in Public Space”

Michelle Donnelly, “Choreographed Encounters: The Intimacy of David Hammons's Body Prints” (virtual presentation)


1:00pm–2:00pm: Break


2:00pm–3:00pm: Keynote: Dr. Deepti Misri, Paradise Lost? Intimate Archives and Public Memories


3:00pm–3:15pm: Break


3:15pm–4:45pm: PANEL III: CIRCUITS OF INTIMACIES

Katherine Mitchell, “Personal Panorama: John P. Doremus’s Mississippi River Stereographs”

Michaela Kotziers, “Lesbian Feminisms as Intimate Encounters”

Sophie Buchmueller, “Life and Death Under Glass: Exploring the Entanglements of Mark Dion's Neukom Vivarium”



Speaker Bios

KEYNOTE: Dr. DEEPTI MISRI
Associate Professor, Associate Chair, Director of Undergraduate Studies Women and Gender Studies, University of Colorado Boulder

Deepti Misri is a literary and cultural critic whose work focuses broadly on questions of gender, violence, and representation. Her areas of interest span South Asian literary and cultural production, transnational feminist studies, and feminist theory and criticism. In addition to her monograph Beyond Partition (University of Illinois Press 2014, and Women Unlimited 2015), her articles have appeared in Signs, Meridians, South Asian Popular Culture, and South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, among other venues. She is currently serving on the editorial board of the Himalayan Studies journal Himalaya. Her current work focuses on literary and visual representations of the militarized occupation in Indian-administered Kashmir.


PANEL I: INTIMATE BODIES

Indranil Banerjee, “Lazzat al-Nisa in Translation: Pornography, Titillation, and Printed Book in Colonial India”

Indranil is a Master's student at the department of Art History and Aesthetics, the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. He is broadly interested in early-modern and modern visual culture and the translational quality of painting, printing, and photography traditions of south Asia. His present research concentrates on the transmission of visual knowledge through printed books in 19th-century North India and Bengal. He also works on the devotional and courtly painting practices of Rajasthan.

Benjamin Allsopp, “Knowing and Seeing the Secrets of Women: An Illumination of The Dissection of Agrippina in John the Fearless’ De cas des nobles hommes et femmes”

Ben is an art history graduate student in his 5th year of the Ph.D. program at Johns Hopkins University. After his B.A. in art history at the University of York, UK, he gained his M.A. in Renaissance Art History with Syracuse University at their campus in Florence, Italy. He is currently working on his dissertation on the intersections between Passion relic cults and painting in Renaissance Venice and is teaching an undergraduate course on the body in premodern art, medicine, and culture. He has recently published an article concerning Fra Angelico’s rendering of the blood of Christ, with Rutgers Art Review.

Sizhao Yi, “Beyond the Boudoir: The Lives of a Lotus Shoe and the Woman Who Made/Worn It”

Sizhao Yi is a Ph.D. candidate in Art History at the University of Chicago, with a focus on the visual and material culture of late Imperial China. Her dissertation, tentatively titled “Between Object and Subject: The Visual Discourse of Things in the Works of Chen Hongshou (1599-1652),” engages with issues of material and materiality, image making, intermediality, and the agency of things through the lenses of Chen Hongshou’s artistic practices and his engagements with material artifacts. Prior to starting her Ph.D., she held an internship at the textile conservation department in the Archeology Institute, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and worked as a freelance journalist at Quartz.

Dylan Volk, “ ‘Trouble Makers’: Trans Feminism, Tribadism, and the Force of Friction”

Dylan Volk (they/them) is a Ph.D. Candidate in the History of Art at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Their research broadly concerns the material and immaterial intersections of queer theory and U.S. art at the end of the millennium. Their dissertation, “Lips Touch: Lesbian Aesthetic Strategies and the Body Impolitic, 1990-1999” has received generous support from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) and the Henry Luce Foundation.


PANEL II: TOWARDS A COLLECTIVE INTIMACY

Ifsha Zehra, “Personal, Political, and Intimate: Evolving Feminist Activism in Kashmir”

Ifsha Zehra is a Ph.D. student at the Department of Communication, University of California, San Diego. Her research focuses on visual cultures in protracted armed conflict settings. Ifsha has graduated summa cum-laude from the Masters in Liberal Studies programme (specialization: Media Studies & Anthropology) from Ashoka University. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Miranda House, University of Delhi.

Ifsha is the co-founder and the Multimedia Head of the Kashmiri feminist collective, ‘Zanaan Wanaan.’ She has broad experience in archival research, human rights work, and feminist activism. Ifsha has worked with the Political Conflict, Gender and Peoples’ Rights Initiative, UC Berkeley, has co-authored several human rights reports in Kashmir, and has curated annual publications for the Zanaan Wanaan Journal. She has also co-authored a chapter in the book Bad Women of Bombay Films published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2019.
She is the recipient of the Katzin Award 2022, a prize awarded to the top academic doctoral students at UCSD. Prior to this, she was a fellow at Salzburg Global Seminar, Austria; a Charpak Scholar at Sciences Po, Paris; and a Mother Teresa Fellow at Ashoka University, India.

Liliana Clavijo, “‘Estallido social’ in Colombia 2021. Corporality and Resistance in Public Space”

Liliana Andrea Clavijo is a Colombian architect. She is a tenured professor in the School of Architecture at Universidad del Valle in Cali. She teaches design, theory, and history of architecture for undergraduates and graduate programs. Between 2020 and 2022, she conducted a master’s degree in urbanism and architecture. She received her undergraduate degree from Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá and obtained her master’s degree in history and theory of architecture granted with distinction, from Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Liliana is a Ph.D. candidate in arts and architecture at Universidad Nacional de Colombia; her research focuses on the communal spaces in modern social housing as cultural representations: affects, memories, political discourses, and culture, that produce new communal and participatory ways of life in modern Latin-American cities in the 20th century. Liliana is the author of the book "Preservar el Fuego. Residencias BCH en Bogotá, Esguerra & Herrera (1961 - 1964)" published by Editorial UNAL in 2019 and, co-author of two books: "Investigación formativa" published by Universidad Piloto de Colombia in 2011 and "Lago & Sáenz: La Materia y el vacío" published by Programa Editorial Univalle in 2021. In 2014 she was granted the Arts Faculty fellowship at Universidad de Nacional de Colombia.

Recently, she was awarded the Forsyth Graduate Visiting Student Fellowship 2022 – 2022 at the
Department of History of Art at the University of Michigan.

Michelle Donnelly, “Choreographed Encounters: The Intimacy of David Hammons's Body Prints”

Michelle Donnelly is a PhD Candidate in the History of Art at Yale University. She studies twentieth-century American art, with particular interests in materiality and intermediality, site specificity, issues of gender, and articulations of race. Her dissertation explores how women artists and artists of color expanded the parameters of printmaking outside the traditional site of the workshop from 1935 to 1975. Prior to joining Yale, she was a Curatorial Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art, where she curated Experiments in Electrostatics: Photocopy Art from the Whitney’s Collection, 1966–1986. She has also held curatorial positions at the Yale Center for British Art, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Morgan Library & Museum, and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. She earned her MA in Art History from the University of Pennsylvania in 2014 and her BA in Art History with Honors from Vassar College in 2011.


PANEL III: CIRCUITS OF INTIMACIES

Katherine Mitchell, “Personal Panorama: John P. Doremus’s Mississippi River Stereographs”

Katherine Mitchell is a Ph.D. candidate in the History of Art and Architecture at Boston University. Her research is focused on the history of photography as an instrument of empire, progress, and conquering of the natural world. She is interested in the ways in which nineteenth-century European-American ecological sensibilities and discourses of science play out in visual representations of landscapes and waterscapes. Katherine holds a BA in Environmental Studies from The University of Vermont and an MA in History of Art and Architecture from Boston University. Her Master’s scholarly paper explored the cultural and photographic construction of the Seine at the turn of the twentieth century. She has held curatorial and education internships at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Boston Athenaeum.

Michaela Kotziers, “Lesbian Feminisms as Intimate Encounters”

Michaela Kotziers is a Ph.D. candidate in the joint program for English and Women's & Gender Studies at the University of Michigan. She is invested in autotheory and creative writing as research methods, and her dissertation revolves around the importance of reading and writing for lesbians--on cultural, political, and personal affective levels--with a focus on the 1970s and 80s lesbian feminism in the United States.


Sophie Buchmueller, “Life and Death Under Glass: Exploring the Entanglements of Mark Dion's Neukom Vivarium”

Sophie Buchmueller is an arts worker raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and is currently based in Chicago. She holds a BA in American Studies and French from Carleton College and graduated this May with dual master’s degrees in Art History and Arts Administration & Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Building: Rackham Graduate School (Horace H.)
Event Type: Conference / Symposium
Tags: Art, Culture, Free, history, Humanities, Interdisciplinary, Visual Arts
Source: Happening @ Michigan from History of Art, Penny W Stamps School of Art & Design, Department of American Culture