Tag Archives: visual art

CFP “After Emory”

Bill Gaskins and Kirstin Buick, of Cornell and the University of New Mexico respectively, are soliciting abstracts for a panel at next year’s College Art Association conference.

After Emory: Redefining Art and Art History in the American University

Bill Gaskins, Cornell University; and Kirsten Buick, University of New Mexico. Email: gaskins@cornell.edu and kbuick@unm.edu
In the fall of 2012 the visual arts department at Emory University was terminated as an academic unit. The department was assessed as no longer representative of Emory’s core mission. For the art departments left standing, and the institutions that house them, this is a moment for a robust public discussion about the future of art and art history in the American university. This session will not readjudicate the decision made by Emory but rather focus on the external challenges, internal dynamics, and critical questions about the prudence, relevance, and sustainability of fine art as an academic project in the twenty-first century. We are calling for solution-themed papers from studio and art history faculty, administrators, alumni, and contributors from related disciplines.

Here’s the original call (it’s on page 8). (Just what does “Emory” signify to the largest organization of art scholars in the U.S.? Well, a cursory search of journals and conferences brings up “After Humanism,” “After the World,” “After Sex,” “After the Postsecular,” “After Life”–you get the idea.)

Speaking of Visual Arts, don’t forget to check out “Cross Reference,” the final exhibition in our beautiful Visual Arts Building, before it closes on April 5.

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Profs in cut departments file formal grievance

18 faculty members, all from departments that are being eliminated or downsized as a result of Dean Forman’s cuts last fall, have filed a formal grievance with Emory College. The complaint, which alleges numerous violations in CFAC’s handling of the cuts, was written in consultation with a prominent Atlanta lawyer. (One professor who signed the document told us that any administrator who glances at it will know that the signatories mean business.) It demands that Emory annul the cuts and “affirm the primacy of the [Emory] Bylaws” and the official principles governing faculty regulations.

You can view the original document here [PDF], courtesy of the Wheel.

The 18 signatories are David Armstrong and Sheila Tefft (journalism); Walter Reed, Angelika Bammer, Kevin Corrigan, Sander Gilman, Anna Grimshaw, Sean Meighoo, Catherine Nickerson and Kimberly Wallace-Sanders (ILA); Juliette Apkarian, Vera Proskurina and Elena Glazov-Corrigan (Russian/REALC); Samiran (Shomu) Banerjee (economics); Jason Francisco and Julia Kjelgaard (visual arts); and Robert Jensen and Carole Hahn (Division of Educational Studies).

Needless to say, the Grievance Committee has denied the signatories’ requests to repeal the cuts and affirm the university’s commitment to uphold its own bylaws. (The only request it did grant was to respond to the grievance during this semester.) English professor Sheila Cavanagh, writing on behalf of the ten-person committee, reportedly “finds no cause to pursue this matter further.”

Faculty members, including AAUP representatives, insist that the battle isn’t over.

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Fighting institutional monotony with creative repetition.

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In the “ironies” column

I hear the voice of President Wagner as he repeatedly references me by name in his statements. I hear his final sentence in ways that I never did out of all the times I’ve previously read it: ‘It is owing more fundamentally to who I am, and the deliberate effort not to lose who I am in what I do, that I find motivation and satisfaction in service to Emory, to people like Carlton.’

An essay from 2010 by then-Candler graduate student Carlton Mackey, reflecting on sitting for a photograph with President Wagner. The photographer, Dawoud Bey, had been invited to Emory by the visual arts department and the now-“concluded” Transforming Community Project. Emory has archived Bey’s “Emory Project” online.

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Notes from Negotiations with Wagner, Forman, and Hauk 12/7

Here is the full text of the notes taken by the SRC Team during their negotiations with President James Wagner, Dean Robin Forman, and VP Gary Hauk on December 7, 2012.

You can find a PDF of the document here.

Please share widely!


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Rally round-up

Nearly all of today’s speakers stressed that our lobbying is not a departmental issue or even, ultimately, an Emory issue.

  • Chants were chanted.
  • A member of the Division of Educational Studies remarked that the last time she checked, the DES was eminent. It would be nearly impossible to write a scholarly article on the history of African-American education or education measurement without citing some of Emory’s faculty. If there was any decline, it was because the Division was constantly being pressed to do more with less. She emphasized the DES’s historic and current position as a haven for black scholars, and its initiatives with prisoners and other extremely under-served populations in the South.
  • As Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies PhD students Mairead and Noemi pointed out, Emory publicly congratulates itself on attracting a growing number of Latino/a students–but to what end, if language and ethnic studies programs are in a shambles?
  • Joey of the ILA remarked that the night before, the editor-in-chief of Art in America delivered a plenary lecture against the backdrop of an obliterated Visual Arts department and a mutilated ILA.
  • John Demar encouraged us to spread the story as widely as possible–to the national press, to celebrities, and especially to alumni. In that spirit, there’s a new initiative: Make a short video of yourself explaining how Emory’s programs and/or the liberal arts in general mean to you. Post it on YouTube with the tag #MyEmoryCutsStory.
  • Finally, Emiko Soltis of the ILA and Students and Workers in Solidarity brought some optimism to a sweaty, tired crowd by performing a Chilean protest song and some Emory-specific Pete Seeger.
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