frank davis memorial lecture series

Resistance and Interpretation: Disciplinary Perspectives

Art History Unrealized

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

17.30 - 18.30, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

Speaker(s): Christopher Wood (Professor, Department of History of Art, Yale University)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Francesco Lucchini

An art history is only as effective as its concept of art. The discipline of art history nevertheless rarely poses searching questions about art, the origins of art, and creativity. In the past, it would seem, the discipline declined to interrogate its own presumed object out of exaggerated reverence for that object. Today it is the reverse: art history is no longer confident that art, together with philosophy and religion, occupies a place outside of culture, and so is capable of pointing to a reality not easily grasped by human language or artifice. Art history today is more likely to acquiesce in a diminished version of itself as a form of cultural analysis.

Christopher Wood is Professor of the History of Art at Yale University. He has been a Junior Fellow at the Society of Fellows, Harvard University; a Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Rome; the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship; and a Fellow of the American Academy in Berlin. He was a visitor at the University of California (Berkeley), Vassar College, and the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He is the author of Albrecht Altdorfer and the Origins of Landscape (1993), Forgery, Replica, Fiction: Temporalities of German Renaissance Art (2008), and (with Alexander Nagel) Anachronic Renaissance (2010); and editor of The Vienna School Reader: Politics and Art Historical Method in the 1930s (2000).

This series proposes a range of ways of approaching the specific resistance found in objects of enquiry, calling attention to the ways in which contemporary scholarship attends to the conditions that set up resistances with respect to disciplinary investigation. Distinguished scholars from different disciplinary traditions are invited to consider how the notion of resistance is dealt with in their field of research and reflect on the ways in which material and cultural factors inhibit or disturb smooth assimilation of artefacts and cultural activities into theory and predetermined categories of interpretation.

Sponsored by the FM Kirby Foundation

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