Art History in the Age of Global Trump Politics


  • 7pm

  • Edinburgh College of Art, Main Building, West Court
    74 Lauriston Place
    Edinburgh
    EH3 9DF

Presented by Prof Amelia Jones (Roski School of Art and Design, University of California) with Dr Angela Dimitrakaki and Dr Tamara Trodd from the Global Contemporary Research Group.

In the late 20th century, the New Art History enacted a deconstruction and reconstruction of the discipline of art history in a rigorous dialogue with social movements that encompassed feminism, post-colonial critique, questions on class as key vectors of consciousness-raising that often took for granted an exchange with the social system carried out in good faith and in a democratic context.

The 21st century, especially since the financial crisis of 2008, has demolished these certainties, demonstrating the precariousness of gains claimed by progressive identity politics and opening a vista of post-democracy, affective response to non-facts, technology-driven manipulation of data, subjects and electorates, the ascent of right-wing populism, and capitalism as an economy that is not just the economy but rather the ground of covert civil wars.

This roundtable will discuss how the political impulses having so far animated the discipline of art history are challenged in this new terrain of ideological confusion as capitalism is becoming disassociated from democracy. Do we need a new New Art History in terms of methodologies, practices, values, and pedagogies to combat the new forces operating largely and specifically against the right to critique?

The roundtable guest, Prof Amelia Jones, is Robert A. Day Professor in Art and Design and Vice-Dean of Critical Studies at the Roski School of Art and Design, University of Southern California. A leading feminist art historian, she is the author of numerous articles and books, including Seeing Differently: A History and Theory of Identification and the Visual Arts (2012), Self/Image: Technology, Representation, and the Contemporary Subject (2006), Irrational Modernism: A Neurasthenic History of New York Dada (2004), and Body Art/Performing the Subject (1998), and the editor or co-editor of anthologies including Feminism and Visual Culture Reader (new edition 2010) and Sexuality (2014) in the Whitechapel “Documents” series and Otherwise: Imagining Queer Feminist Art Histories (2015).

Dr Angela Dimitrakaki and Dr Tamara Trodd teach at the University of Edinburgh and are members of the Global Contemporary Research Group at History of Art.

This event is free and open to all.