April 25 and 26 Clark Conference to Investigate the Impact of Diasporic Studies on Art Historical Scholarship

For Immediate Release

April 11, 2008

The Clark Conference “Art History and Diaspora: Genealogies, Theories, Practices” will bring together artists, curators, and art historians to investigate the impact of the field of diasporic studies on art historical scholarship. The conference will be held 9 am to 6 pm on Friday and Saturday, April 25 and 26, at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Tickets are $30 ($20 for members and students). Admission is free for Williams faculty and students (register at events@clarkart.edu). For more information and tickets, visit www.clarkart.edu or call 413-458-0460.

A primary focus of the conference will be on defining how diaspora—with its connotations of forced migration because of political expulsion, enslavement, shifting belief systems, war, and other forms of nationalist conflict—has shaped both art-making and art historical scholarship in the late 20th and early 21st century. The diaspora conference will focus on how issues of national identity, migration, cultural hybridity and increasing globalization, and concepts such as mestizaje and creolization (largely emerging from the field of post colonial studies) have transformed art historical scholarship (including policies governing teaching and curriculum design issues).

The conference is co-convened by Mora Beauchamp-Byrd, Natasha Becker, and C. Ondine Chavoya. Speakers will include:

 · Nikos Papastergiadis, University of Melbourne

· May Joseph, New York University

· Simon Njami, independent lecturer and art critic

· Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, artist

· Yong Soon Min, University of California, Irvine

· John P. Bowles, Indiana University

· Pamela R. Franco, Tulane University

· Jerry Philogene, Dickinson University

· Kobena Mercer, Spring 2008 Clark Fellow

· Vesela Sretenovic, Bell Gallery, List Art Center, Brown University

· Richard Powell,Duke University

· Lisa Bloom, University of California, San Diego

· Judy Ramgolam, Central University of Technology, South Africa

· E. Carmen Ramos,  Arts Council of Princeton, Princeton

· Barnor Hesse, Northwestern University

· Allan de Souza, San Francisco Art Institute

The conference kicks off on Thursday, April 24 at 6 pm with a lecture by the internationally acclaimed artist Julie Mehretu at the Williams College Museum of Art where her exhibition Julie Mehretu: City Sitings is on view from April 19 through July 27. Mehretu’s monumental paintings are significant to the themes of the conference registering, as they do, the impact of time, space, and place on the formation of personal and communal identity in contemporary life.

The conference is organized by the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute with additional support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The Clark is one of the country’s foremost art museums, as well as a dynamic center for research and higher education in art history and criticism. It is one of only a few art museums in the U.S. that is also a major research and academic center, with an international fellowship program and regular conferences, symposia, and colloquia, and an important art research library. The Clark, together with Williams College, jointly sponsors one of the nation’s leading M.A. programs in art history, which has been part of the professional development of a significant number of directors of art museums, curators, and scholars.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, MA.The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm (open daily in July and August). Admission is free November through May.Admission June 1 through October 31 is $12.50 for adults, free for children 18 and under, members, and students with valid ID. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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