the City University of New York, Graduate Center.
Friday, 6 February 2009In American academia, British Victorian art has been perceived pejoratively as regressive relative to French art's trajectory toward modernism. In sharp contrast, English departments in the United States have encouraged the study of British Victorian literature since it was first set down on paper, with postmodern scholars championing Victorian literature's handling of issues from colonialism and racism to aspects of gender and sexual identities. The Victorians were the dominant imperial power and leaders of the industrial world at the dawn of the twentieth century, but the study of Victorian visual art and culture is still largely looked upon unfavorably in the United States, with American museums only rarely mounting exhibitions about Victorian art. Recently, this trend has been slowly changing. More students are pursuing dissertation topics in the areas of British Victorian painting, sculpture, architecture, and photography. Furthermore, conferences such as the 2008 annual meeting of NAVSA acknowledge the rising importance of Victorian art, including interdisciplinary panel sessions on topics such as sculpture and global contexts, queer visualities, and Darwinism and the arts. "Why Victorian Art?" will bring together scholars to address two critical issues: why the study of Victorian art has been overlooked in the U.S., and how a closer examination of Victorian art can provide new or alternative perspectives in the study of nineteenth-century art and culture.
9 a. m. to 5 p. m.
Martin E. Segal Theatre, Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY
For more information download the symposium announcement.