Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Job Announcement: Tenure-track Assistant Professor of Art History

From: Martha Anderson 
Subject: JOB: Asst. Professor of Art History, Alfred University, NY
Date: October 29, 2013

Position: Tenure-track, Assistant Professor of Art History

The School of Art and Design in the New York State College of Ceramics
at Alfred University is seeking an art historian for a full-time,
tenure track, faculty position beginning fall 2014. Applications are
invited from historians with primary expertise in the history of
ceramic arts. All historical periods and cultures are open to
consideration. The art history curriculum is an integral part of the
program at the School of Art and Design. The Division of Art History
is one of six divisions in a comprehensive art school with a very
active faculty and prolific student body who access renowned
facilities for artistic and scholarly research.

The successful candidate will be able to develop teaching expertise in
the history of modern and contemporary ceramics and teach
upper-division courses in a Non-Western area.  An interest in material
culture and the history of design are welcome. Duties include teaching
intermediate and graduate courses in areas of expertise, participation
in the introductory Foundations of Art History program with courses in
the Non-Western area, and in the BS in Art History and Theory degree

With few exceptions, the courses in art history are open to all
students at Alfred University and primarily serve students majoring in
studio art (BFA), art history and theory (BS), interdisciplinary art
(BA), and graduate students in studio MFA programs. The successful
candidate will also maintain an active involvement in scholarly
research and publication. Faculty members participate in undergraduate
academic advising and contribute to faculty governance within the
School and the University.

Required: PhD preferred, ABD considered, in Art History or related
field and a minimum of one-year teaching experience. Appointment
begins in August 2014.

Alfred University
The School of Art and Design is an accredited member of NASAD, with 36
full-time faculty serving approximately 500 students. The School is
unique among institutions of higher education with an open curriculum,
allowing a robust and diverse experience in studio art, design, and
art history courses. Students and faculty alike thrive in an intensive
and supportive learning environment. School of Art and Design students
are fully integrated into Alfred University’s community of 2,000
students. The New York State College of Ceramics (NYSCC) includes the
School of Art and Design, the Inamori School of Engineering, and
Scholes Library. The NYSCC was established in 1900 to advance research
in art, design, and engineering. That intellectual and creative legacy
exists in all of the areas of study in the School of Art and Design.

Alfred University is an equal opportunity employer (EOE) and actively
seeks diversity among its employees.

Review of applications will begin on November 24, 2013 and remain open
until the position is filled.

Application Process
Email your letter of interest, CV, teaching philosophy, sample
syllabi, and contact information for three references (address, phone
number, and email) as one PDF document to Ms. Shelly Grant,
grantsh@alfred.edu in addition to sending the original documents by
mail to:

Art History Faculty Search
School of Art and Design
NYS College of Ceramics at Alfred University
2 Pine Street
Alfred, NY 14802

Monday, October 28, 2013

Senator Ted Cruz vs Nigerians--matters arising

Last week the Texas Senator Ted Cruz made a crude "joke" to the effect that the Obama Administration probably hired Nigeria email scammers to run his troubled healthcare website. Protestations came quick and fast, from the Nigerian ambassador, from Nigerians in Texas, and from a global online signature initiative, all demanding an apology. In response, he sent out something that was meant to be an apology, but to many Nigerians his apology is at best disingenuous. To me, he does not have to apologize (in which case he will have to deal with Nigerians in America either now or down the road). But if he believes he needs to distance himself from that statement, then he should just simply do so, and not try to sound like the anti-Obamacare smart-arse that he is.  What follows is a statement from one of the organizers of the signature drive.

Dear Friend,

Thank you for signing the Nigerians Demand Apology from Senator Ted Cruz for his Offensive Remarks. Now! petition. With your help, we've reached 679 signers in just two days.  

However, you must have heard or read that after feeling some heat,  the Senator "apologized" with words as follows:


It’s unfortunate that we’re living in a time where just about every joke can be misconstrued to cause offense to someone.
To the good people of Nigeria — a beautiful nation where my wife lived briefly as the child of missionaries — no offense was intended.
I am fully appreciative of the range of mutual economic and security interests that make Nigeria an important friend to the United States.
And even to those few unscrupulous email scammers who were the subject of the joke, I apologize to you for the unfair comparison to the utterly dysfunctional Obamacare website


Is this apology from the Junior Senator from Texas genuine?  I don't think so,  what with his accusation of anachronistic hyper-sensitivity,  with his repetition of a reference to email scammers, and his tongue-in-cheek apology directed to them in his continued dig at the Obamacare website.  Besides, the apology is not even on his own website - maybe the link there is not working, or is invisible? -  neither have we seen his signature beneath the statement.

But the call is yours, either to end this petition drive now, or to make more impact by proceeding with our aim of getting up to 1,000 signatures before we deliver the petition to Senator Ted Cruz's office, asking for an unqualified, simple and straight-forward, no-frills apology, viz:

I apologize to the good people of Nigeria — a beautiful nation where my wife lived briefly as the child of missionaries — about my recent joke which was misconstrued.  No offense was intended.
I am fully appreciative of the range of mutual economic and security interests that make Nigeria an important friend to the United States.
Heidi and I hope that we can put this issue behind us, as we look for better ways of collaborating with the Nigerian community in the future.


So can you please forward this email to five of your friends right now?
With your help, we can extend and win our campaign! Share this link: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/nigerians-demand-apology.

Thank you for taking a stand on this important issue.

Bolaji Aluko 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sharjah Art Foundation Art Production Grant

The Sharjah Art Foundation has announced its 2014 Art Production grant open call. So if you are an artist with an exciting idea or project you need funding support to realize, you may want to apply to the SAF. Click HERE to see the details.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

"From Mbari Mbayo to Iwalewahaus" Conference, Bayreuth--Photos

Have been having a good two days of conference, "From Mbari Mbayo to Iwalewahaus" hosted by the Iwalewahaus, University of Bayreuth. It is perhaps the first major attempt to reassess the legacy of this unique, very dynamic institution, which inevitably turns on the vision of its founding director, Ulli Beier. But it also, I think, comes at a crucial juncture in the life of Iwalewahaus: in the next month or so, it will relocate to a significantly bigger and more visible building--a befitting acknowledgment on the part of the university administration of the fact that this space for study, research and production of African arts the likes of which you are not likely to find anywhere else, is also arguably the university's most important calling card outside of the German State of Bavaria. Listening to many of the presentations, it is impossible to not see why the character of the Iwalewahaus, which in many ways reflects Beier's unflinching belief in the role of literary and expressive arts in the making of progressive postcolonial society, must be sustained; but one is also reminded of the need to build on this legacy, by expanding its intellectual purview and keeping pace with cultural production and discourse of the present through its new academic and artistic programs, and its ambitious, digital archiving projects. That is now the task of Ulf Vierke, who as director go the Iwalewahaus will take the institute to that next level.

Among the many participants are important Nigerian artists such as Obiora Udechukwu Muraina Oyelami, and Nike Davies-Okundaye whose careers and the history of the Iwalewahaus are entwined by virtue of Beier's support of their work; leading scholars and curators including Rowland Abiodun (Amherst College) who gave the keynote, Wolfgang Bender, Jutta Stroter-Bender, Wole Ogundele; the award-winning South African architect and patron Peter Rich whose presentation was on the influence of Panco Guedes, the legendary Architect and friend of Beier, on his own illustrious work; and the collector Heinz Greiffenberger among others. Quite important, His Royal Majesty, the Ataoja of Osogbo attended the conference; the first visit by the King to Iwalewahaus since its inception in 1981.

Anyone familiar with the institute will notice that I am writing its name differently: as "Iwalewahaus" rather as "Iwalewa-Haus", it's original name. Recently, Ulf Vierke and his team decided to rearticulate the institute's corporate identity. So the new form "Iwalewahaus" and a new logo, which I really like, are part of this change. With the move to the new building, a new master in Art History and Curatorial Studies program, and the Univ. of Bayreuth DEVA project, the future of this unique institution founded by Ulli Beier seems secure, the continued significance of it's work assured.

And, oh there was this encounter with two paintings by the Nigerian artist Colette Omogbai who graduated from the art school in Zaria in 1964 as one of the most exciting talents in the Lagos Art scene. She even published an unprecedented feminist manifesto "Man Loves Something Sweet", in Nigeria Magazine, and then she disappeared from the art scene. So here was I in the exhibition at the Iwalewahaus gallery, and right in front of me were two oil paintings by Omogbai! Dark, impastoed surfaces with abstract forms that soon turned into body parts of agonizing, menaced figures. So, finally, I have seen her work up close. Finally. Thank you Iwalewahaus, and the visionary, Ulli Beier, for making this possible.

* All images copyright Chika Okeke-Agulu

Heinz Greiffenberger and Ulf Vierke             
Professors Jutta Stroter-Bender (Paderborn Univ.) and Wolfgang Bender (Univ. of Bayreuth) during their presentations; two differing perspectives of the Ulli Beier's vision for Iwalewahaus

Heinz Greiffenberger speaking about the making of his art collection, and his relationship with Ulli Beier and Univ. of Bayreuth

His Royal Majesty, Oba Oyetunji, the Ataoja of Osogbo

The artist Nike Davies-Okundaye (L), the Olori (C), and His Majesty, the Ataoja of Osogbo (R)

Marina von Assel, Director of the University of Bayreuth Art Museum speaking about the Bauhaus and the Science of Gesamtkunstwerk
St. Lawrence Univ. Professor, Obiora Udechukwu's presentation on how Igbo philosophy of human subjectivity might explain the genius of Ulli Beier
Section of the audience

Doig Simmonds, the filmmaker/photographer and former curator of collections at the Institute of African Studies, Univ. of Ibadan

The Ataoja's entourage, including the young Afro-Pop singer Jemiriye (L)

Stroter-Bender, the Ataoja and the Olori, and Okundaye-Davies
Section of the special exhibition of works from the Iwalewahaus collection 
First Generation Osogbo artist Chief Muraina Oyelami
Professor Rowland Abiodun of Amherst College
Professors Abiodun and Udechukwu with a Univ of Bayreuth grad student (C)

Heinz Greiffenberger (L), Ulf Vierke,  (2nd L)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Fellowship for African-born Scholars in the US--Announcement

IIE is pleased to announce the launch of the new Carnegie African Diaspora Fellows Program, funded by a two-year grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY). African-born scholars currently living in the United States and Canada and working in higher education are eligible to sign up now for further information. The Carnegie Corporation called the scholar-exchange program, offered by the Institute of International Education in partnership with Quinnipiac University, "an ambitious project to build international research partnerships mediated by Africa's diaspora—in short, to turn the continent's ‘brain drain’ into ‘brain gain’."

The 100 short-term faculty exchange fellows will conduct collaborative research in curricula development, co-publish, and supervise graduate students. IIE will manage and administer the program, including applications, project requests, and fellowships. Quinnipiac University will provide strategic direction through Dr. Paul Tiyambe Zeleza, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of History at Quinnipiac University, and an Advisory Council he will chair. Fellows will engage in educational projects proposed and hosted by faculty at higher education institutions in countries where Carnegie Corporation operates in sub-Saharan Africa.

For more information and to sign up now to receive application forms and guidelines when they are available in early 2014, visit http://www.iie.org/africandiaspora.


Daniel Obst
Deputy Vice President, International Partnerships

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Some Photos from Wangechi's "A Fantastic Journey" private opening last Wednesday

So, last Wednesday, I saw Wangechi Mutu's first major museum survey at Brooklyn Museum, originally organized by Trevor Schoonmaker of Nasher Art Museum at Duke University (we need more curators like Trevor, by the way). The show, Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey brings together some of her best known two-dimensional works, along with new sculptural installations, and her first animation work, The End of Eating Everything (2013), which she created in collaboration with the singer and producer Santigold. I found the cabinet of collages from Wangechi's sketchbooks the most intriguing work in the exhibition; and I am sure to return to them in the near future. In any case, this exhibition reminds you of the intensity of Wangechi's fertile, proliferating imagination, and her ability to tame the monumental scale with pictorial details that can border on the delirious. Standing before these gigantic, terrifyingly sassy and sexy, sutured women dominating her mixed media works, you can not help but be in thrall of her simultaneously powerful, titillating, dark, and teasing vision of the postcolonial condition.

Guests watching End of Eating Everything (2013)

Exhibition installation view: foreground: cabinet of artist's sketchook

Wangechi (C), with artist and Columbia Univ. professor, Coco Fusco (R)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

"Modernists and Mentors" symposium at Cambridge University, Nov. 7

On November 7, 2013, the ‘Modernists and Mentors: Indigenous and Colonial Artistic Exchanges' symposium, will take place at the Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, Cambridge University, as part of the multi-year, multi-site "Multiple Modernities" project originally conceived by Ruth Phillips, who is the Canada Research Chair in Modern Culture and Professor of Art History, Carleton University.  The inaugural symposium for the "Multiple Modernities" project was hosted by the Sterling and Francine Clark Institute, Williamstown (MA), in 2011; and in 2012 the second edition held at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2012). After Cambridge, the group will meet, in the next couple of years at Victoria University of Wellington, in Wellington, New Zealand; and at the University of Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, South Africa.
For details about the Cambridge Symposium: Click HERE

Sunday, October 6, 2013

American Art in Dialogue with Africa and its Diaspora Symposium

The past two days, Friday and Saturday (Oct. 4-5) were among the two best days of any conference I have been privileged to attend in recent years. Organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum and convened by the museum's intrepid Amelia Goerlitz, the Fellowship and Academic Programs Coordinator, the "American Art in Dialogue with Africa and its Diaspora" Symposium featured, as far as I know, some of the best research being done these days on the work of artists (black and white) who have engaged directly or indirectly, ostensibly or surreptitiously with African art and visual cultures (and we are not talking about that "affinity" stuff!). Just check out the program below, and see for yourself!
It is somewhat of  a miracle that the stupid government Shut Down did not torpedo the entire program (anyway thanks to whoever made it possible for Amelia to stay on the job, for the symposium!). Yes, the symposium had to take place in an alternative venue, the National Museum for Women in the Arts (NMWA), and some of the panel chairs, employees of the Smithsonian, could not attend. But then participants Renee Ater and Tanya Sheehan and Kelly Quinn stepped in and did the job fabulously well. Also, participants were allowed to see Survey of Faith Ringgold's1960s work--when every other Smithsonian museum is still under lock. Speaking of which, I am almost on the verge of cursing out the politicians for the Shut Down, because I could not see the Kerry James Marshall survey at the National Gallery, organized by James Meyer. The Shut Down also made it impossible for the planned live webcast of the symposium to happen. But I understand that as soon as government returns to work, the whole program will be made available via web stream. In the meantime, here is the outline of the symposium Program

There below are photos of the presenters and guests (* Not shown are Shawn Michelle Smith, Associate Professor of Art History, School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and Venny Nakazibwe, Dean of Faculty of Arts, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda). All photos copyright Chika Okeke-Agulu.
Elizabeth Broun, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Johnetta Cole, Director, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art

Amelia Goerlitz, Convener

Ikem Stanley Okoye, Associate Professor, University of Delaware

Krista Thompson, Associate Professor, Northwestern University

Renee Ater, (Panel Chair), Associate Professor, Univ. of Maryland, College Park

Panel I, Tobias Wofford, Assistant Professor, Santa Clara University (C)

Anne Lafont, Associate Professor, Universite Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallee

Camara Dia Holloway, Assistant Professor, Univ. of Delaware

Tanya Sheehan (panel chair), Associate Professor, Colby College

James Smalls, Professor, Univ. of Maryland

Image from Prof. Smalls' presentation on the dancer, Feral Benga

Mia Bagneris, Assistant Professor, Tulane University

Nicholas Miller, PhD Candidate, Northwestern University

Panel III

Ruth Fine, Curator, National Gallery of Art, introducing David Driskell

David Driskell, the legend

David Driskell's presentation on his work

David Driskell

Kelly Quinn (Panel Chair), Terra Foundation Project Manager, Archives of American Art

Jeffrey C. Stewart, Professor, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara

Rebecca Keegan VanDiver, Senior Lecturer, Vanderbilt University

Anne-Grit Becker, PhD Candidate, Freie Universitat Berlin

Peju Layiwola, Associate Professor, University of Lagos

Community Mural Project, Univ. of Lagos, directed by Brett Cook

Daniel Haxall, Associate Professor, Kutztown Univ. of Pennsylvania
With David Driskell

Celeste-Marie Bernier, Professor, Univ. of Nottingham

Participants: Nengi Omuku (R); Jean Borgatti (2nd R); Evaristus Obodo (R)

Amelia Goerlitz (L) with guest

Renee Ater (R), Victor Ekpuk (C)

With Amelia and Ikem Okoye