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What Is Contemporary Art History?

 June 23 - 24, 2006

This two-day colloquium, convened by Richard Meyer, professor at the University of Southern California, and Michael Lobel, professor at Purchase College, State University of New York, laid the foundation for a thoroughgoing analysis of the recent emergence of contemporary art as a field of scholarly inquiry through a wide-ranging discussion among a group of leading figures in the field. Participants asked questions such as these amongst themselves: what distinguishes art-historical work on contemporary art from art criticism? What forms of historical consciousness, contextual understanding, and expertise are required to produce scholarship on contemporary art?

Participants included: Yve-Alain Bois (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ), Julia Bryan-Wilson (Rhode Island School of Design), Thomas Crow (director, The Getty Research Institute), Darby English (University of Chicago), Hal Foster (Princeton University), Anne E. Gibson (University of Delaware), David Joselit (Yale University), Pamela M. Lee (Stanford University), and Mignon Nixon (Courtauld Institute of Art, London, England).