40 years of symposia: FSU art history celebrates original graduate student research

Since 2020, the event has been organized by the Graduate Student Symposium Committee, a rotating elected group of art history master’s and doctoral students, three of whom serve as session chairs.

“The student committee has really taken the lead in planning the symposium,” said Jean Hudson, assistant chair of the Department of Art History. “This is a completely student-centered conference. We’re proud of the long tradition and the way the event has evolved and especially proud of our students who work so hard to bring it together.”

As an aspiring professional in art history, doctoral student Emma Huston emphasized the importance of the themes and subjects covered in the symposium.

Claire Farago from the University of Colorado Boulder speaks during the 36th Annual Graduate Student Symposium to attendees, March 2019.

“Research and innovation in terms of art history is overlooked sometimes,” Huston said. “As art historians, we study the ways in which humanity understands their existence through material and visual culture. The more we can understand each other’s existence, the more we can work together for a better future.”

This year’s keynote speaker is Richard J. Powell, the John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art and Art History at Duke University. His presentation “Blackbeats: Cubism Reimagined” will be held at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 1 in the William Johnston Building, room 2005.

Powell is a leading scholar in African American art and culture. His research focuses on American art, the arts of the African diaspora and contemporary visual studies. He was recently awarded the National Humanities Center Spring 2024 Fellowship for his presentation in the A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts series “Colorstruck! Painting, Pigment, Affect.”

Richard J. Powell, the John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art and Art History at Duke University, will present “Blackbeats: Cubism Reimagined” at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 1 in WJB, room 2005.
Richard J. Powell, the John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art and Art History at Duke University, will present “Blackbeats: Cubism Reimagined” at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 1 in WJB, room 2005.

“When students are exposed to great scholars, it opens their eyes to the greater network of universities and academics that they’re a part of,” Huston said. “Someone like Dr. Powell, who addresses such pertinent themes, is an excellent connection for them.”

Three paper sessions — Community Spaces in Focus, Meaning and Materiality, and Navigating Identity — will take place on Friday and Saturday, with a discussion after each speaker. Papers presented will be considered for inclusion in Athanor, the department’s internationally distributed, peer-reviewed journal.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit arthistory.com/sympo.


The Art History Graduate Symposium is generously sponsored by the Dean of the College of Fine Arts and by a grant from the Congress of Graduate Students. 

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *