Interrogating Global Contemporary Art - University of Houston
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Research, Pedagogy, Museums

The University of Houston Art History Program invites you to join us for a series of free online conversations Interrogating Global Contemporary Art: Research, Pedagogy, Museums aimed at illuminating the idea of global contemporary art. Individual presentations by preeminent scholars and curators will highlight diverse approaches to shaping the notion of global contemporary art through research, pedagogy, exhibition-making and public outreach. The series culminates in a “Global Roundtable” that reconvenes all speakers in dynamic group conversation. We ask: What is global contemporary art and how is it remaking approaches to artistic practice, scholarship and curation? In a moment of cultural reckoning that has rendered past efforts at diversifying and expanding the canon insufficient, how can the idea of global contemporary art help us to critically and ethically engage in the reconstruction of a historically exclusive discipline? As academic programs and museums adopt its rhetoric—along with its weaknesses and blindspots—is global contemporary art here to stay? Presented in a lively and engaging format, the series will examine the stakes of the global contemporary paradigm as scholars, educators and curators urgently push to reinvent the discipline and its institutions.   

David Joselit: October 8, 2:30 p.m. CST  

Professor of Art, Film and Visual Studies at Harvard University  

Mari Carmen Ramírez: October 13, 3:00 p.m. CST  

Wortham Curator of Latin American Art at the  Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Leah Dickerman: October 15, 2:30 p.m. CST  

Director of Editorial and Content Strategy at The Museum of Modern Art  

Atreyee Gupta: October 28, 2:30 p.m. CST  

Assistant Professor of Global Modern Art and South and   Southeast Asian Art at the University of California, Berkeley  

Global Roundtable: November 9, 2:00 p.m. CST  

*REGISTER on Eventbrite. The conversations will take place on Zoom and will be simultaneously live-streamed to the University of Houston School of Art's YouTube channel.
Zoom meeting registration is limited. You can register for the events until midnight (12:00 am CST/CDT) of the day the event takes place using Eventbrite link above. You will receive connection instructions on the day of each event for which you are registered.*

Organized by Art History faculty members Natilee Harren, Sandra Zalman, and Postdoctoral Fellow Dorota Biczel with support from the University of Houston Division of Research and with promotional support from Blaffer Art Museum.  

  • David Joselit photo by Mary Ellen Carroll

    David Joselit

    David Joselit began his career as a curator at The ICA in Boston from 1983 to 1989. He has taught at the University of California, Irvine, Yale University, where he was Department Chair from 2006 to 2009, and the CUNY Graduate Center. He is currently Professor of Art, Film, and Visual Studies at Harvard. Joselit is author of Infinite Regress: Marcel Duchamp 1910–1941 (MIT, 1998), American Art Since 1945 (Thames and Hudson, 2003), Feedback: Television Against Democracy (MIT, 2007), and After Art (Princeton University Press, 2012). He co-organized the exhibition Painting 2.0: Expression in the Information Age, which opened at the Brandhorst Museum in Munich in 2015. Joselit is an editor of the journal OCTOBER and writes regularly on contemporary art and culture. His most recent book is Heritage and Debt: Art in Globalization (MIT, 2020).

  • Mari Carmen Ramírez photo by Dorota Biczel

    Mari Carmen Ramírez

    Mari Carmen Ramírez is the Wortham Curator of Latin American Art and founding Director of the International Center for the Arts of the Americas (ICAA) at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Prior to that, she was curator of Latin American Art at the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art and adjunct lecturer in the department of art and art history, both at the University of Texas at Austin. Ramírez also served as director of the Museo de Antropología, Historia y Arte de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, Río Piedras campus. She received a Ph. D. in Art History from the University of Chicago in 1989. 
    Ramírez has curated numerous exhibitions of Latin American art including Inverted Utopias: Avant-Garde Art in Latin America (with Héctor Olea, MFAH, 2004) awarded by the International Association of Art Critics as the "Best Thematic Museum Show Nationally" in the USA. More recently, New York Times art critic Holland Cotter declared Inverted Utopias one of the two most important exhibitions of the past decade. At the ICAA, Ramírez conceptualized and oversees the continental initiative Documents of 20th Century Latin American and Latino Art: A Digital Archive and Publications Project consisting of the recovery and digitalization of primary sources related to the artistic production of the region.
    In 2005 she was the recipient of the Award for Curatorial Excellence granted by the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. That same year TIME magazine named her one of the twenty-five most influential Hispanics in America. She is also the recipient of the 2014 Latino Influencer Award and that same year made the 100 Most Powerful Women in the Arts list.
    Ramírez has been widely published on a broad range of topics such as the relationship of Latin American art to identity politics, multiculturalism, globalization, and curatorial practice.

  • Leah Dickerman photo by Dorota Biczel

    Leah Dickerman

    Leah Dickerman is Director of Editorial and Content Strategy at The Museum of Modern Art, developing and setting direction for the MoMA's public platforms. In this role, she has launched the Museum's new online publication Magazine. Before that, as a Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, she organized or co-organized a series of exhibitions offering new perspectives on the modern including Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends (2017), One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North (2015), Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925 (2012–2013), Diego Rivera: Murals for the Museum of Modern Art (2011–2012), Bauhaus: Workshops for Modernity (2009–2010). Dickerman is also the Director of the Mellon-Marron Museum Research Consortium, a partnership between MoMA and graduate art history programs at Princeton, Yale, Columbia, The Institute of Fine Arts, and The Graduate Center at The City University of New York. She has served on the editorial board of the journal OCTOBER since 2000. In 2019, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

  • Atreyee Gupta photo by Dorota Biczel

    Atreyee Gupta

    Atreyee Gupta is Assistant Professor of Global Modern Art and South and Southeast Asian Art in the History of Art Department at the University of California, Berkeley. She is presently completing Non-Aligned: Decolonization, Modernism, and the Third World Project, India ca. 1930–1960, a book on the artistic and intellectual resonances of the Non-Aligned Movement during the Cold War era and the interwar anti-colonial Afro-Asian networks that preceded it. Other book projects include Postwar – A Global Art History, 1945–1965 (with Okwui Enwezor). She has published essays on postcolonial art, the Cold War, and the Non-Aligned Movement in journals such as Art Journal, Yishu, Third Text, and MMCA Studies of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul. Other publications have focused on the methodologies for a global art history (James Elkins, ed., Is Art History Global? 2006); the myriad histories of the “global” (“Art History and the Global Challenge: A Critical Perspective,” Artl@s Bulletin 6, no. 1); and the question of translation that emerges therein (28 Magazine 12). Most recent curatorial projects include When All That Is Solid Melts into Air: Exploring the Intersection of the Folk and the Modern in Postcolonial India (UC BAMPFA, 2020, co-curated with Lawrence Rinder). Before coming to Berkeley in 2017, Gupta was the Jane Emison Assistant Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. She was trained at the University of Minnesota and the Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India.