PhD Opportunity: Archiving Feminist Cultural Activism

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Archiving Feminist Cultural Activism

Project description

This PhD project invites candidates to explore the entangled intersection of feminist cultural activism, art history and archiving across the UK. Almost five decades after the the emergence of feminist interventions in art and visual culture, the challenges and expectations raised by archiving and remembering those momentous practices are more pressing than ever. Recent endeavours including the British Library’s digitisation of Spare Rib (1972-93) or the anthologisation of Twenty Years of Make Magazine (2015) record significant moments in the production and circulation of feminist cultural materials. To what extent, however, can historians, librarians, artists and curators capture and record the ephemeral aspects of these activist communities – the reading groups, educational spaces, and social relations therein. If ‘the archive is where academic and activist work frequently converge’ (Eichhorn, 2013), is it possible to conceive of performative, experimental or artistic modes of documenting and organising knowledge that more truthfully preserve the politics of past activisms? Looking to the future as well as to the past, how can feminists develop archiving practices that meet the demands of the digital era? This studentship will examine the histories and theories of archiving, curating and documenting in light of the ‘archival turn’ of the 1990s; and will innovatively update these enquiries to reflect on how to care for past and present feminist cultural activisms.

Deadline for applications: 20 January 2017
Start Date: 2 October 2017
Supervisor: Dr Victoria Horne

Informal enquiries: victoria.horne@northumbria.ac.uk

Funding Notes

This project is being considered for studentship funding in competition with other projects, available to applicants worldwide. The studentship includes a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates for 2017/18 (this is yet to be set, in 2016/17 this is £14,296 pa) and fees (Home/EU £4,350 / International £13,000 / International Lab-based £16,000). Additionally, as Northumbria celebrates its 25th anniversary as a University and in line with our international outlook, some projects may also be offered to students from outside of the EU supported by a half-fee reduction.

Eligibility
Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see
https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/research/postgraduate-research-degrees/how-to-apply/

New Art and Design History BA

Starting at Northumbria University in September 2017. (Where it will feature lots of feminist art/design history and theory!)

website link: “Whether your interests lie in painting and sculpture, architecture, interior design, textiles and fashion or digital media, this innovative course will provide you with a solid foundation to pursue a career in the contextualisation of art and design. The course is structured around three interlocking streams to link rigorous academic inquiry into art and design history, the experience and curation of art and design in wider society, as well as other vocational experience in the cultural industries.

This course is unusual and innovative in combining the study of Art History with Design History, and integrating academic, experiential and vocational elements to give you an excellent foundation for a career in the cultural sector.

You do not need a qualification in art and design history to apply, just a keen interest in art and design and an enthusiasm for creative thinking. So whether your goal is to organise exhibitions, write about art and design, set up events, or progress to postgraduate research, this course will provide you with the intellectual skills and practical experience to realise your ambitions.”

If you have further questions about this new programme you can contact me on my institutional email address to discuss: victoria.horne AT northumbria.ac.uk. 

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Stories that Matter – ICA London 22 November

Very disappointed that I can’t make it to this event at the weekend, which looks wonderful, but I will certainly be visiting the magazine exhibition at Chelsea Space before the 18 December. It’s all very exciting! And on that theme, I am getting a research blog together on my new work into magazines and art history which I will share very soon.

MAKE

On Sunday 22 November the ICA is hosting an event exploring whether feminist methodologies make a difference to the kinds of stories that can be told using archives: actual archives, virtual archives and/or other concrete sites of encounter which generate historiographical work.

How might we ‘break open’ the archive to listen to and disseminate its contradictory voices so that they may resonate with the present, making it available for the use of contemporary generations of feminists, men and women? How do feminist pasts engage future readers?

The event marks the publication of the anthology Twenty Years of MAKE Magazine: Back to the Future of Women’s Art edited by Maria Walsh and Mo Throp (I.B. Tauris: 2015), which will be launched at the end of the day.

Featuring leading practitioners of feminist historiography including Prof. Griselda Pollock, Prof. Clare Hemmings, Prof. Maria Tamboukou and Dr. Catharine Grant as well as MAKE editors Maria Walsh and Mo Throp.

Details here

CfP: Labours of Love, Works of Passion: The social (re)production of art workers from industrialisation to globalisation

Next year’s Association of Art Historians Conference will be held at the University of Edinburgh on 7-9 April. The panel sessions look excellent – not least because so many are aimed at tackling the historiography of the contemporary discipline – and more details on applying can be found here.  Not many of the panels specifically address feminist art production, but a session of Black British Art Histories mentions Lubaina Himid’s pioneering exhibition Thin Black Lines and will hopefully present more (much needed) material on the work of black women artists over the past four decades.

The session CfP below, organised by Kirsten Lloyd and Angela Dimitrakaki will also be of particular interest to feminist researchers.

Labours of Love, Works of Passion: The social (re)production of art workers from industrialisation to globalisation

A term that emerged in feminist thinking in the 1970s, ‘social reproduction’ refers to the ‘labour of love’ traditionally performed for free by women in the home. Despite the crucial role it plays in sustaining and replenishing the working population, this work is usually excluded from accounts of ‘production proper’ and the economy at large. In viewing its worth as other than economic, this labour of love connects with accounts of artistic labour which is also seen as simply ‘self-rewarding’.

Arguably, the values associated with a gendered sphere during the rise of modern art and 19th-century industrialisation have transferred to artistic production within the 21st century finance- and service-led economy. Is art, then, the exemplary case study in the socio-economic order of feminised labour widely encountered in globalisation? How might we connect this to the thesis that artistic critique led to precarious labour (The New Spirit of Capitalism, Boltanski and Chiapello 2005 [1999])? And, do the above compel a rethinking into what connects modern and contemporary art?

This session invites papers that investigate the possibility of scripting an alternative history of art of the last 200 years. We propose that the concept of social reproduction must be embedded in the discipline’s critical lexicon for the 21st century, especially as Marxist, feminist and decolonial art histories are beginning to articulate an urgently required bigger picture. By bringing into dialogue a range of approaches to the thematic, methodological and research implications of such a move, this session will also test art history’s potential as part of a militant left humanities.

Further details here.