Events Archive

  • 2018-2019

    CVC Events 2018 – 2019:

    OCTOBER 11, 2018

    Alongside the performative speech act – the words with which we do things – there has always existed a contrary set of pejorative speech acts – the words with which we undo things. With growing contemporary concern over civility and incivility in American life, this talk will offer a speculative genealogy of the pejorative arts. Focusing in particular on the “profane oath” – a pejorative speech-act broadly considered immoral, uncivil, and illegal in this period – it tracks the hidden history of the pejorative as an enunciatory site from which black and indigenous people could countermand the civilizing mission. The talk examines this pejorative speech-act though a reading of the 1957 MGM film, Something of Value, a film that allegorically maps Native North American resistance onto East African anti-colonial resistance in a manner that offers some useful insights into the intersection of black and indigenous studies today.

    Tavia Nyong’o is Professor of African American Studies, American Studies, and Theater Studies at Yale University. He works in contemporary aesthetic and critical theory with a particular attention to the visual, musical, and performative dimensions of blackness, as well as to the affective and technocultural dimensions of modern regimes of race. His first book, The Amalgamation Waltz: Race, Performance, and the Ruses of Memory (Minnesota, 2009), won the Errol Hill Award for best book in African American theatre and performance studies. He is completing a study of fabulation in black aesthetics and embarking on another on queer wildness. Nyong’o has published in venues such as Radical History Review, Criticism, GLQ, TDR, Women & Performance, WSQ, The Nation, Triple Canopy, The New Inquiry, and n+1. He is co-editor of the journal Social Text and the Sexual Cultures book series at New York University press. He regularly blogs at Bully Bloggers.

    The lecture and workshop were supported by the Anonymous Fund, the Theater Studies Program, and the Departments of Art and Art History.

    OCTOBER 25, 2018

    Dr. Posner will give a public lecture designed to attract an interdisciplinary audience. In the lecture, she will reflect on the opportunities and challenges of data visualization and share some of her work with two very different data sets: one from a museum, the other from a commercial retail chain.

    Dr. Posner will also lead a hands-on workshop for digital humanists. In the workshop, she will guide participants through the process of curating a data set and applying visualization software to it. Participants will learn hands-on skills, but Dr. Posner will also encourage participants to think critically about the data and its visual expression.

    Miriam Posner is an assistant professor at the UCLA School of Information. She’s also a digital humanist with interests in labor, race, feminism, and the history and philosophy of data. As a digital humanist, she is particularly interested in the visualization of large bodies of data from cultural heritage institutions, and the application of digital methods to the analysis of images and video. A film, media, and American studies scholar by training, she frequently writes on the application of digital methods to the humanities. She is at work on two projects: the first on what “data” might mean for humanistic research; and the second on how multinational corporations are making use of data in their supply chains.

    The lecture and workshop were supported by the Anonymous Fund, the Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture, and the Departments of Communication Arts and Art.

    NOVEMBER 2, 2018

    Michel Foucault’s History of Sexuality is often taken as a key theoretical text in the study of sexuality throughout the humanities, and yet some of its critique of the radical rhetoric of the sexual revolution and its discussion of our ‘privileged objects of knowledge’ may seem now historically remote. With the rise of digital media and information technology, we have seen a new sexual revolution in the past two decades, and so how do we revise Foucault for a theory of the influence of the Internet and current media on sexual practices and sexual politics? What are the new ‘privileged objects of knowledge’ in our conception of sexuality? How do they relate formally to the technologies of their representation, including recent innovations in cinema but also in the deployment of sexuality in social media? We will look at Steve McQueen’s 2011 film Shame as a case in point about sexual ideology, sex addiction, and technology.


    Ellis Hanson is a Professor of English at Cornell University teaching Victorian and Modernist Literature. He is author of Decadence and Catholicism (Harvard, 1997) and edited the influential volume Out Takes: Essays on Queer Theory and Film (Duke, 1997). Recent work has turned to the exploration and production of mood within aesthetic theory (see Ellis Hanson, “The Languorous Critic,” New Literary History, vol. 43, No. 3, (Summer 2012), pp. 547-564 and the forthcoming essay, “The Style of Decadent Prose” in The History of Decadence, Alex Murray, ed., Cambridge UP). Two new projects consider with the sustained analysis of interiority: the first, The Aesthetics of Suffering, consider the external representation of chronic internal states, and the other, Knowing Children, concentrates on the visual representation of child sexuality in contemporary American culture.

    The lecture and workshop were supported by the Anonymous Fund, the Interdisciplinary Theater Studies Program, and the Departments of English, Art, and Art History.

  • 2017-2018

    CVC Events 2017 – 2018:

    SEPTEMBER 28 – 29, 2017

    Durham, N.C. residents pose with toppled statue of a Confederate soldier. | Photo: Twitter / @DerrickQLewis

    Nicholas Mirzoeff presented his current project, The Appearance of Black Lives Matter, #Charlottesville in a public lecture on September 28th. Police killings captured on cell-phone video or photographs have become the hallmark of United States visual culture in the twenty-first century. In the lecture, Mirzoeff examined this transformation of visual culture from the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown in the summer of 2014, to the inauguration of Donald Trump in 2017, and most recently to the violence of white supremacists in Charlottesville, VA.

    The student workshop focused on the Introduction and Conclusion to his publications How to See the World (2015) along with the Beginning of The Appearance of Black Lives Matter (2017). How to See the World analyzes an unprecedented political shift initiated by the visual revolution of the internet’s image explosion. From Google Images to Instagram, video games to installation art, this transformation is confusing, liberating and worrying all at once. As Mirzoeff reminds us, this is not the first visual revolution; the nineteenth century saw the invention of film, photography and x-rays, and the development of maps, microscopes and telescopes made the 17th century an era of visual discovery. But the sheer quantity of images produced on the internet today has no parallels. Mirzoeff’s recent publication The Appearance of Black Lives Matter studies the formation of the space of appearance, that space where we catch a glimpse of the society that is to come—the future commons or communism. In this discussion, we will focus on the Preface and Ouverture: Black Lives Matter from The Appearance of Black Lives Matter.

    OCTOBER 6-11, 2017
    OCTOBER 7 & 8, 2017


    In collaboration with Chicago Shakespeare Theater and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Center for Visual Cultures welcomed Teatro Línea de Sombra, October 6 – 11. A performance group consisting of Jorge Vargas, Alicia Laguna, Zuadd Atala, Eduardo Bernal, Raul Mendoza, Gilberto Barraza, Vianey Salinas, Jesus Cuevas, and Malcom Vargas, Teatro Línea de Sombra is revered for their transnational pieces that use documentary techniques, video editing, film embedding, site-specific performances, and anti-methodological acting to explore issues of immigration, violence, and human rights awareness.

    Baños Roma considers the life of Cuban-Mexican boxer José “Mantequilla” Nápoles, one of the most important characters in Mexican popular culture at the end of the 20th century. His importance lies not only in the achievements he obtained in his sports career but because he is a representative figure of the time. “Mantequilla,” (his nickname meaning “butter” referring to his smooth boxing style), now with dementia, is still a legend that lives in the social imaginary. Today he lives in Ciudad Juárez, a city plagued by its own decay due to the narcos involvement. Teatro Línea de Sombra is interested in that hero of boxing but from the perspective of the ghostly figure that he is now. Thus, two contemporary instances are constructed, on the one hand, reality, based on the bleak look at his life in Ciudad Juárez, and on the other, memory and the fragility it exposes. This binomial could be called “The memorable reality.” Teatro Línea de Sombra is concerned not only with the impossible notion of true events but the group also implies that memory can help imagine the present.

    Directors Eduardo Bernal and Jorge A. Vargas of Teatro Línea de Sombra led a two-day workshop where participants explored Teatro Línea de Sombra’s unique methodology that stresses the key concepts of the referent, conviviality, experience, the argument, and the image. Participants also composed either a short scene or wrote a reflexive artistic/academic argument that fused Teatro Línea de Sombra’s  approach to maps, biopolitics, the body, and the environment.

    OCTOBER 19, 2017

    Presented in partnership with the Center for the Humanities and the Institute for Research in the Humanities

    Christina Sharpe is Professor of English at Tufts University and the author of Monstrous Intimacies: Making Post-Slavery Subject and In the Wake: On Blackness and Being. Her research interests are in black visual culture, black diaspora studies, and feminist epistemologies, with a particular emphasis on black female subjectivity and black women artists.

    In In the Wake, Sharpe interrogates literary, visual, cinematic, and quotidian representations of Black life that comprise what she calls the “orthography of the wake.” Activating multiple registers of “wake”—the path behind a ship, keeping watch with the dead, coming to consciousness—Sharpe illustrates how Black lives are swept up and animated by the afterlives of slavery, and she delineates what survives despite such insistent violence and negation. Initiating and describing a theory and method of reading the metaphors and materiality of “the wake,” “the ship,” “the hold,” and “the weather,” Sharpe shows how the sign of the slave ship marks and haunts contemporary Black life in the diaspora and how the specter of the hold produces conditions of containment, regulation, and punishment, but also something in excess of them. In the weather, Sharpe situates anti-Blackness and white supremacy as the total climate that produces premature Black death as normative. Formulating the wake and “wake work” as sites of artistic production, resistance, consciousness, and possibility for living in diaspora, In the Wake offers a way forward.

    OCTOBER 18, 2017

    two banners, one embroidered with "We were never meant to survive" and the other depicting an eagle stabbed with a pencil soaring over two guns

    Cauleen Smith

    Cauleen Smith (born Riverside, California, 1967) is an interdisciplinary artist whose work reflects upon the everyday possibilities of the imagination. Operating in multiple materials and arenas, Smith roots her work firmly within the discourse of mid-twentieth-century experimental film. Drawing from structuralism, third world cinema, and science fiction, she makes things that deploy the tactics of these disciplines while offering a phenomenological experience for spectators and participants. Her films, objects, and installations have been featured in group exhibitions. Studio Museum of Harlem, Houston Contemporary Art Museum; Yerba Buena Center for Art, and the New Museum, New York, D21 Leipzig and Decad, Berlin. She has had solo shows for her films and installations at The Kitchen, MCA Chicago, Threewalls, Chicago. She shows her drawings and 2D work with Corbett vs. Dempsey.  Smith is the recipient of several grants and awards including the Rockefeller Media Arts Award, Creative Capital Film /Video, Chicago 3Arts Grant, and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Chicago Expo Artadia Award, and Rauschenberg Residency. Smith was born in Riverside, California and grew up in Sacramento. She earned a BA in Creative Arts from San Francisco Sate University and an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Theater Film and Television. Smith is based in the great city of Chicago and serves as faculty for the Vermont College of Fine Arts low-residency MFA program.

    Read more about Smith’s work in a recent ARTFORUM article.

    Christina Sharpe is Professor of English at Tufts University and the author of Monstrous Intimacies: Making Post-Slavery Subject and In the Wake: On Blackness and Being. Her research interests are in black visual culture, black diaspora studies, and feminist epistemologies, with a particular emphasis on black female subjectivity and black women artists.

    Emmy Award-Winning Michael Wylie
    March 5, 2018

    Much has been written in recent years of the spate of superb writing for television across many series, but the leaps forward in visual artistry are equally remarkable. Amidst the context of fervid change and experimentation in television, what then is happening to the medium as a centerpiece of visual culture? How are the artistry, politics, craft, economics, and culture of television changing? What does artistic production design for contemporary television entail? This public discussion aimed to answer these and more questions, as Emmy Award-winning production designer Michael Wylie discussed his work across numerous series including the popular television shows Legion, Pushing Daises, Californication, Masters of Sex, and Agent Carter.

    Jane Blocker
    Echo: Sound Recording and Racial Violence in Contemporary Art History 
    April 5, 2018

    Jane Blocker is a Professor of Art History and Associate Dean for Art and Humanities at the University of Minnesota.

    Her public lecture, “Echo: Sound Recording and Racial Violence in Contemporary Art History” looked back to the infamously politicized 1993 Whitney Biennial and its inclusion of the amateur video showing five white police officers beating Rodney King, to consider the ways in which recorded sound serves as historical document. It drew together critical reactions to the Biennial, the performance practice of Anna Deavere Smith, and the story of Echo to think about the effect of racial violence on historical temporalities.

    The student workshop focused on Professor Blocker’s latest research alongside her 2015 publication, “History in the Present Progressive: Sonic Imposture at The Pedicord Apts.”

    Affiliate Events 2017 – 2018:

    Honor Ford-Smith
    Performance: Song for the Beloved
    September 21, 2017

    Honor Ford-Smith is an artist-scholar whose work intersects performance, installation art, historical memory, death and mourning, as well as racial, ethnic and Caribbean studies. Song for the Beloved is a performance and installation piece she recently brought to Liberty Hall in Kingston, Jamaica, to mourn the death of civilians in the hands of the state or paramilitary groups.

    NOVEMBER 2, 2017

    Photo of a man in silhouette holding an antennae

    What do we mean when we discuss an animation’s “frame rate” or say a photograph is “in development”? What is rastering? What is a signal to noise ratio? Employing photography, collage and sculpture to engage these technical terms and the history of communication systems, Herman uses the analogy of an antenna to query the way structure and rhythm impact both fabrication techniques and a thing’s reception in the world. Engaging methods of reproduction and distribution as a point of departure, Herman’s work exploits “noise” or the break down of data, to explore the role materials and patterning plays in perception. Finding both beauty and intellectual clarity in these disruptions and moments of metamorphose, Herman reveals how symbolic logic and myth continue to resonate in our hyper-digitized world. As part of his presentation Herman discussed his project for Weaving Lab: Digital Residency.

    Workshop: NEW CUBAN ART
    November 8, 2017

    Video art in Cuba was introduced by Tania Bruguera’s movement Behavior Art in the 1990s. In general, it is a documentary type of video made with precarious technology. It is mainly used by artists as an extension of their primary practice and incorporated in exhibitions as video installations. Rosa’s lecture and workshop presented a short history of the medium and reflected on how Cuban video relates to both reality and to more academic art practices.

    NOVEMBER 9, 2017

    How do media — both journalism and entertainment — frame Americans’ relationship to and understanding of race? What roles do they play in dividing or uniting, and to what end?


    Informed by the artistic practice of Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica (1937-1980) in relation to the socio-political conditions and carnival culture in Brazil in the 1960s, What Bodies Can Do: Art and the Social Practice of Resistance seeks to alter our understanding of the art object by re-evaluating the kinship between participatory art, embodied performativity, and social practices of resistance. Premised on the conviction that Hélio Oiticica’s paradigm-shifting Parangolés specifically, and participatory art more broadly, are fundamentally what Judith Butler calls “embodied forms of action and mobility marked by dependency and resistance,” this project will bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars to create, perform, and ultimately engage in a timely debate about the political, social, and cultural potentials arising from the embodied performativity of art.

    In other words, this event will set the stage for demonstrating the potential of art as what Brazilian critic Mário Pedrosa called “an experimental exercise of freedom.” By exercising art making and display as embodied social action, What Bodies Can Do: Art and the Social Practice of Resistance aims to provide a platform for new scholarship and a vital site for public discussion and activism.

    What Bodies Can Do: Art & the Social Practice of Resistance is organized by the Visual Cultures Collective in collaboration with the Center for Visual Cultures, Teatro Décimo Piso, and the Chazen Museum, with active involvement from the Departments of Art History, English, Spanish and Portuguese, Art, the UW Center for the Humanities, and the International Student Services

    APRIL 6 – 7, 2018

    MARCH 2 -3, 2018

    This symposium proposes to bring together artists, scientists and scholars across several disciplines for whom color matters in quite different registers, across the globe and across modernity. From the Early Modern era to the present, color theory and practice cross disciplines and sponsor debates about what color is. This 21st century symposium looks forward and back in time to invite collective thought about color’s modernity. The symposium invites scholars, artists and participants to think about how their research addresses two questions: crossovers between color theory and material practices now, among artists and scientists, and as part of the global exchange of color, pigments and artifacts.

    MARCH 12 – 13


    Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies Colloquium Speaker Sara Freeman, U Pugent Sound; Editor, Theatre History Studies

    Contemporary playwrights now often compress the linguistic and imagistic aspects of theatre, distilling spatial and dramatic elements with as much attention to visuality as textuality. Countering Hans Thies Lehman’s position on dramatic theatre, Liz Tomlin asserts that the “dramatic form itself has continuously questioned its own predicates, with a self-reflexivity that has enabled it to dismember the classical dramatic apparatus piece by piece, shape shifting into the absences that are left almost imperceptibly to form new structures that can accommodate the philosophical questions of the time.” Taking up this insight, Sara Freeman argues that divisions between text-based and non-text-based theatre, or dramatic and postdramatic forms, truncate rather than illuminate the innovations of twenty-first century dramaturgies practiced by writers like Caryl Churchill, Naomi Iizuka, and Sarah Ruhl. She details how contemporary directors and designers stage these authors’ work informed by the insights of avant-garde forms, performance art, devising practices, and mediatized culture about how to maximize the phenomenological impact of the linguistic, spatio-temporal, and perceptual experimentation in the writing. Following Tomlin’s recovery of plays-as-texts for postmodern theatre,Freeman explicates the indissolubility of text and staging in twenty-first century dramaturgies and argues for the theatrical and critical necessity of a spatialized poetic vocabulary that owes as much to Bachelard as it does to Aristotle when addressing new Anglo-American writing in theatre.

  • 2016-2017

    Antoni Miralda + Alicia Rios
    Artist Talk, Workshop, and Performance
    April 25 – 29, 2017

    Alicia Rios creates multi-sensory works that require the public’s participation, where reality is reinterpreted through food and devoured collectively. Her collective Ali&Cia has produced edible greenhouses, libraries and entire cities and islands, staged for up to four thousand people. Rios is also one of the leading Spanish experts on tasting olive oil, has written several cookbooks, and publishes regularly on culinary themes. Information about her work can be found at:

    Antoni Miralda explores the foods of many different cultures in projects that are edible anthropologies and conceptual propositions. He has made shrines in food markets and ritualistic ceremonial banquets. His FoodCultura Museum is a collection of devices and strategies that question common museum protocols to examine and foster participation in culinary cultures from around the world. Miralda currently has a permanent stall at La Boqueria, the largest permanent food market in Spain.  His work was recently featured in the Spanish Pavilion of the Milan Expo and will be part of the upcoming Venice Biennale.  Information about his work can be found at:

    On Wednesday, 26 April, Rios and Miralda lectured on their individual oeuvres. Following a short break, there was a moderated dialogue between the two about similarities and differences in their approaches and a discussion of their Madison project. This symposium took place in L160 Elvehjem Building (800 University Avenue) starting at 4:30 PM.

    On Saturday, 29 April,  Rios and Miralda will produced their first collaborative project, a procession and mobile exhibition on the theme of food waste.  Assistant and volunteers worked with the artists on Friday in advance of the performance.

    These events were funded by the Anonymous Fund, University Lectures Fund, Jay and Ruth Halls Visiting Scholar Fund, Borghesi Mellon Workshops, and Spatula&Barcode. Co-sponsoring units include the Center for Humanities, Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies, Design Studies, Art History, Spanish and Portuguese.

    Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men
    Artist Talk
    April 20th, 6pm in Elvehjem L140

    The Yes Men are an activist duo and network of supporters created by Jacques Servin (Andy Bichlbaum) and Igor Vamos. Through the use of satire and staged media events the Yes Men primarily aim to raise awareness about problematic social and political issues. Bichlbaum spoke about their activism and art practice.

    Sponsored by the Center for Visual Cultures. Co-sponsored by Evil Twin Booking Agency. Funding provided by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Anonymous Fund.


    Susan Stockwell
    Artist Talk
    March 30th, 6pm in Elvehjem L140

    Sail Away: Workshop
    March 31 & April 1

    Susan Stockwell’s work takes many forms from small studies to large scale sculptural installations, drawings and collage. It is concerned primarily with transformation and with issues of ecology, geo-politics, mapping, trade and history. The materials used are the everyday, domestic and industrial disposable products that pervade our lives. These materials are manipulated and transformed into works of art that are extraordinary.

    Stockwell spoke on her work during an artist talk on March 30 at 6pm in Elvehjem L140. She also hosted a two-day workshop in which participants had the unique opportunity to work directly with Stockwell to build sailboats (similar to those in the photo above) from discarded currency and maps that were then released on Lake Mendota.

    Susan gained an MA in sculpture from the Royal College of Art in 1993. She exhibits in galleries and museums all over the world including, TATE Modern and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, The Katonah and the Neuberger Museums of Art in America and The National Museum of China in Beijing. She has been awarded scholarships, grants and commissions such as a Visiting Arts Taiwan-England Artists Fellowship and commissions from the University of Bedfordshire, Black Rock Investments and the National Army Museum. She has taught extensively and taken part in residencies and projects in Europe, America, Australia and Asia.


    David Getsy & Ramzi Fawaz
    Cheap: Queer Visual Culture, Salvage, and Reuse
    October 13th, 7pm in Elvehjem L140

    This event featured a public dialogue between two leading scholars in queer visual culture studies, David Getsy and Ramzi Fawaz, whose recent books explore the uses of throwaway or disposable cultural forms to articulate alternative expressions of sexuality and gender in contemporary U.S. culture.

    Getsy’s recent monograph Abstract Bodies: Sixties Sculpture in the Expanded Field of Gender, uses transgender theory to study 1960s abstract sculpture, paying particular attention to found object and salvage metal work that resists traditional forms of embodied representation and figuration. In a similar vein, but with different objects, Fawaz’s new book The New Mutants: Superheroes and the Radical Imagination of American Comics, explores how American comic books, arguably the most disposable popular media of U.S. culture, used fantasy to imagine pleasurable and even politically radical transmutations of the human body.

    The participants discussed their recent book projects to introduce a broader dialogue about queer aesthetic practices, both high and low, that revalue “cheap” materials as rich tools for imagining gender and sexuality in new and potentially radical ways: why do cheap materials (from scrap-metal, to low-quality newsprint and comic strips, to garbage) appeal to certain artists engaged in queer aesthetic and political projects? How does cheapness accrue unexpected cultural capital or value despite its denigrated origins? What kinds of beauty, wonder, enchantment, and pleasure might be pulled from salvaged objects, textures, and surfaces? And most importantly perhaps, how does one go about studying objects that are so ephemeral, fleeting, and disregarded?

    In this way, the event dovetailed with this year’s Center for Visual Cultures theme, “Visual Cultures: Useless, Decadent, Discarded” by considering what methods currently exist, or might further be developed, for the
study of those visual forms that are actually composed of discarded, cheap, or ephemeral materials, catching the imagination but rarely aiming at permanency. Each participant preparde questions for their interlocutor inspired by the concepts and arguments that stem from their respective works; following this exchange, Getsy and Fawaz engaged with the audience in an open Q&A.

    Carlos Garaicoa
    Broken Future Line: Urban Landscape/The City’s Social Body

    Tuesday, September 27
    6pm Elvehjem L140

    Carlos Garaicoa’s art focuses on the aesthetic, social, and political implications of ruins–including those in his hometown of Havana–as an expression of history and an inquiry into the future. Working with a variety of materials and media, such as photography, architectural design, and installation, he comments on urban planning and the relationships between political conflicts and their physical expression in the conditions of the modern city.

    In this conversation, held on September 18, 2016, Garaicoa discusses his career, latest projects, and inaugural Artist x Artist residency with Michelle Bird and Andrea Nelson (Courtesy of the National Gallery of Art)

    Learn more about Carlos Garaicoa and contemporary Cuban photography from the online exhibition catalogue for the exhibit “Apertura: Photography in Cuba Today,” held at the Chazen Museum March 6 – June 21, 2015.

  • 2015-2016

    John Bell

    Lecture | Performing Crisis: Puppetry and Activist Theater
    Friday, April 29th, 4pm
    Elvehjem L140

    Workshop | Toy Theater
    Saturday, April 30th, 9am – 3pm

    John Bell is a puppeteer, scholar, and director of the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry. He was a member of the renowned Bread and Puppet Theater for more than a dozen years. He is recognized as one of the preeminent scholars on puppets and performing objects and has written and edited several books on the subject. He has taught at New York University, Rhode Island School of Design, Emerson College, MIT and other institutions. Drawing on folk, avant-garde, and popular theater traditions to address contemporary issues, his Brooklyn-based theater collective, Great Small Works, performs in theaters, schools, galleries, and the streets. Their original toy theater production, entitled “Terror as Usual,” was developed as a portable way to engage the public in the deconstruction of the daily culture of fear promoted by the news after 9/11.

    Lecture | Performing Crisis: Puppetry and Activist Theater

    A consistent element of community expression in public space, from medieval processional theater to the recent Black Lives Matter and “Je Suis Charlie” demonstrations, is the use of puppets, masks, and performing objects, either in an improvised or well-preconceived manner.  This presentation will consider the nature of objects in public demonstrations as the material performance of political ideas.  What are the dynamics of material, design, movement, chorus, and scale in the context of community expression in the massive spaces of streets, parks, and public squares?

    Workshop | Toy Theater

    During his visit, John Bell will lead workshop participants in the creation of their own toy theater project based on current events and stories they want to tell through the simple but powerful medium of the miniature.

    The workshop will be held Saturday, April 30th in the Humanities building, room 6111, from 9am to 3pm with an hour break for lunch. No previous experience in art or puppetry is needed. Preference will be given to those who see a use for this in their activism, education or art practice and are committed to fully participating in the workshop. Groups who want to develop a piece together are encouraged and should indicate that.

    Artist-in-Residence Bahia Shehab

    Women, Art, and Revolution in the Streets of Egypt
    Bahia Shehab
    April 2-10, 2016

    Lecture: April 5th, 5pm Elvehjem L140
    Film Screening: Nefertiti’s Daughters, April 6th, 5:30pm Elvehjem L150
    Workshop: April 3 – 8

    Bahia Shehab, one of UNESCO’s 70 most accomplished women speakers, is a Lebanese-Egyptian artist, designer and art historian. Her artwork has been on display in exhibitions and galleries in China, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Lebanon, UAE and the US. The documentary Nefertiti’s Daughters featuring her street artwork during the Egyptian uprising was released in 2015. She is associate professor of practice, director of the visual cultures program and founder of the graphic design program at The American University in Cairo where she has developed a full design curriculum mainly focused on visual culture of the Arab world. She has taught over twelve courses on the topic. Her book A Thousand Times NO: The Visual History of Lam-Alif was published in 2010 and the artwork by the same title is shortlisted for V&A’s Jameel Prize 4. She is a 2012 TED Fellow and a 2016 TED Senior Fellow. Bahia was selected as one of BBC’s 100 Women for two consecutive years, in 2013 and 2014. The American University in Beirut honored her as distinguished alumna in 2015.

    Bahia Shehab will give a public lecture on Art and Resistance entitled “We Were Never There” on Tuesday April 5th, 5pm in Elvehjem L140.

    The walls on the streets of post-revolution Cairo have been white-washed by the new regime. Street expression is no longer tolerated and artists have suffered arrest, imprisonment and exile. The talk will trace the destiny of artists and activists who were painting on the streets of Cairo during the Egyptian uprising in 2011-2013. It will highlight the different forms of continued protest in what activists consider a time of crisis and what the world sees as an aborted revolution.

    Film Screening: Nefertiti’s Daughters, followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Mark Nickolas and artist Bahia Shehab
    April 6th, 5:30pm in Elvehjem L150
    Queen Nefertiti returns to join revolutionary street artists on the front lines in the fight for women’s rights and freedom in Egypt today.

    Following the film, we will be joined by filmmaker Mark Nickolas and featured artist Bahia Shehab for a Q&A discussion.


    Nefertiti’s Daughters is a story of women, art and revolution.
    Told by prominent Egyptian artists, this documentary witnesses the critical role revolutionary street art played during the Egyptian uprisings.

    Focused on the role of women artists in the struggle for social and political change, Nefertiti’s Daughters spotlights how the iconic graffiti of Queen Nefertiti places her on the front lines in the ongoing fight for women’s rights and freedoms in Egypt today.

    Mural Workshop led by Bahia Shehab
    “No to the Impossible”

    لا للمستحيل

    Shehab will lead a mural workshop for UW Students and Madison community, in coordination with the Williamson Street Art Center and local organizations for one week (April 2-9 at Art Lofts Building, 111 North Frances Street Madison). The workshop aims to engage Madison’s community in an interactive activity that would make the residents re-think their relationship with the city in general and with buildings as canvases for art in specific. The choice of an Arabic calligraphy spread on one of the walls of Madison’s local buildings also aims to bridge dialogue between cultures, by sharing a universal message of hope and resilience.

    In 2010 Bahia Shehab exhibited “1000 times No”, an artwork documenting the visual development of one Arabic letter form “la” which means No.  During the 2011 Egyptian uprising the artwork took a political turn when Shehab started spraying different “No” messages on the streets of Cairo. Four years into the revolution, the No messages took an international dimension when Shehab started spraying them in different cities around the world, street art is not tolerated in Egypt under the current regime.

    Her “No to the Impossible” in Wisconsin-Madison is inspired by “The Butterfly’s Burden” a poem by the famous Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. The message will be painted as a mural on the street.

    During her stay, Bahia Shehab will also visit classes and artist studios.

    Fall 2015 Events

    Visual Grammars for Seeing Blackness
    November 5

    Nicole Fleetwood (Rutgers University), “Fraught Imaginaries: Collaborative Art and Activism in Prison”

    Herman Gray (University of California, Santa Cruz), “Precarious Diversity: Media, Representation, and Demography”

    Jay Katelansky (University of Wisconsin-Madison), “a BLACK amorphous thing: how phantom shifts the narrative”

    Peter Cusack
    Sounds from Dangerous Places
    September 22 & 23
    Sounds from Dangerous Places asks “What can we learn of dangerous places by listening to their sounds?” This talk will include recordings and photographs from Chernobyl, the Caspian oil fields and the Aral Sea, Kazakhstan.Peter Cusack is a sound artist, and a research fellow and member of CriSAP (Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice) at the University of the Arts, London.Discussion: “Musical Ecologies in a Damaged World,” a workshop around the work of Peter Cusack, with Gregg Mitman, Craig Eley, Frederic Neyrat, and Andrew Salyer. We will discuss Cusack’s works and several art clips (Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel, John Cage, Pierre Schaeffer, etc).

    Sounds from Dangerous Places

  • 2014-2015

    The Center for Visual Cultures presented 2015 Artist in Residence Nelson Ramírez de Arellano Conde, artist and Director of the National Photography Museum in Havana.

    Lecture: No More Boundaries for Cuban Photography
    March 5, 2015
    5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
    Chazen Museum of Art, Auditorium

    This event, free and open to the public, marks the opening of Apertura: Photography in Cuba Today. Funding provided by the UW-Madison Anonymous Fund, UW-Madison Lectures Committee, Center for the Humanities, and by the Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program with support from the US Department of Education’s Title VI Grant Program.

    Artists featured in Apertura: Liudmila&Nelson, Carlos Garaicoa, José Manuel Fors, Angel Delgado, René Peña, Rafael Villares, Reynier Leyva Novo.

    Reception: Apertura Exhibition
    March 5, 2015
    Live music, refreshments, and cash bar.
    Chazen Museum of Art, Witter Lobby

    Workshop: Thirteen Ways to Photograph a Blackbird
    March 7, 2015
    9:00 AM – 12:00 PM, and an optional session 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
    Pyle Center
    Workshop is free, but availability is limited.

    This workshop follows a method developed in the Instituto Superior de Arte in Cuba by artist Flavio Garciandía on the basis of Thomas McEvilley’s 1984 essay “On the Manner of Addressing Clouds.” The workshop consists of a morning session, and an optional afternoon session. In the morning, Nelson Ramírez de Arellano will present thirteen objective categories that allow us to evaluate art on the basis of form, content and the relationship between the two as they apply to photography. In the afternoon, there will be practical exercises for students to engage with the concepts and “design” a fictional oeuvre following discussed premises.

    Nelson Ramírez de Arellano Conde is the director of the Fototeca de Cuba (Cuban National Museum of Photography). He received the Cuban National Prize for curating the collective exhibition The City and Photography, Habana 1900-2005, and he organized the 9th Havana Biennale in 2006. He is also a conceptual artist working in photography and video as member of the duo Liudmila & Nelson.

    CVC Theory-in-Practice Lab: Cassils

    Performance: Becoming an Image
    Tuesday, Feb 17, 7:00 PM
    Wisconsin Union Theater
    Free tickets available at the Memorial Union Theatre Box Office.

    Ghost: A Workshop with Cassils
    Wednesday, Feb 18, 12Noon

    Artist’s Talk
    Wednesday, Feb 18, 7:00 PM
    Location: Elvehjem L150

    Meiling Chen and Liu Ding: Contemporary Chinese Time-based Art
    Nov. 6, 2014 – Nov. 7, 2014
    Elvehjem Building, L140

    The Center for Visual Cultures is pleased to announce these upcoming events with visiting artists/critics Meiling Cheng and Liu Ding.

    Meiling Cheng
    Lecture, Thursday, 6 November, 5:30 PM, Elvehjem L140BX Mini: Multicentric Notations

    In this talk, Meiling Cheng will discuss her new book, Beijing Xingwei: Contemporary Chinese Time-Based Art (2013). From cannibalism to light-calligraphy, from self-mutilation to animal sacrifice, from meat entwined with sex toys to a commodity-embedded ice wall, the idiosyncratic output of Chinese time-based art over the past thirty years has invigorated contemporary global art conversations. Beijing Xingwei offers the first in-depth study of such time-based artworks created to mark China’s rapid reintegration into the global communities and its concurrent transformations in the post-Deng era. At a moment when time is explicitly linked with speed and profit, Beijing Xingwei explores multiple alternatives for how people with imagination can spend, recycle, and invent their own time.

    Meiling Cheng is Associate Professor of Dramatic Arts/Critical Studies and English at University of Southern California School of Dramatic Arts. She is the author of In Other Los Angeleses: Multicentric Performance Art (2002) and Beijing Xingwei: Contemporary Chinese Time-Based Art (2013), which received the support of a 2006 Zumberge Individual Research Grant and a 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship. With Gabrielle Cody, Dr. Cheng is currently co-editing a critical anthology entitled, Reading Contemporary Performance: Theatricality Across Genres, which will be published by Routledge in 2015.

    Liu Ding

    Lecture, Friday, 7 November, 10:00 AM, Elvehjem L150
    “A Less Visible Ideological Structure”: (Art) Historical Research in the Practice of Art and Curation

    This talk will present examples from both my recent artwork and my curatorial practice to propose a model of historical research in artistic practice. This process discovers and envisions connections between historic events and contemporary thinking and practice. I see historical perceptions and the discourses of historical narratives as the materialization of a less visible ideological structure that has gradually emerged since the 1950s in China. We understand the complexities of this intellectual framework poorly, yet we live fully under its influence. I will discuss the urgency of engagement with art histories in the making of artworks, and my process of researching and making exhibitions.

    Liu Ding is an artist and curator based in Beijing. His artistic and curatorial practice treats objects, events, and discourses of art history and the foundation of historicization both as materials and as the basis for critical reflection. He initiated the research and exhibition project titled Little Movements: Self-practice in Contemporary Art I, II, in collaboration with Carol Yinghua Lu. He co-curated the 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennial, titled Accidental Message: Art is Not a System, Not a World. Publications written and edited by him include Little Movements: Self-practice in Contemporary Art I, II, Accidental Message: Art is Not a System, Not a World, and Individual Experience: Conversations and Narratives of Contemporary Art Practice in China from 1989 to 2000.

    In addition, it may be possible to join any of the following events.

    Thursday, 6 November, 1130-1, Art Lofts Gallery, 111 N. Frances Street. Public Discussion of the Transmedia Graduate Student Exhibition with Meiling Cheng and Liu Ding.
    Thursday, 6 November, 130-3, Lunch and Conversation about Performance Studies with Meiling Cheng. Limited space. Advanced reading will be required. Contact to register.
    Friday, 7 November, 12-2, Animal Studies Workshop with Meiling Cheng. Limited space. Advanced reading will be required. Please contact to register.
    Friday, 7 November, 12-2, Lunch and Conversation in Chinese with Liu Ding. Limited spaces. Must be able to converse in Chinese. Contact to register.
    Friday, 7 November, 5 PM. Reception and Informal Conversation with Meiling Cheng and Liu Ding. Limited Spaces. Off campus. Transportation Required. Contact to register.
    A limited number of studio visits with Liu Ding may be available. Open only to Art Department Graduate Students. Contact
    The visit by Meiling Cheng and Liu Ding is sponsored by the Center for Visual Cultures and co-sponsored by the Art Department, the Department of Theater and Drama, the Department of Art History, the Center for East Asian Studies, and the China Institute with funding from the University Lectures Committee and the Anonymous Fund.

    Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Saúl García-López
    The Center for Visual Cultures is excited to announce our Fall 2014 Artist-in-Residence, Guillermo Gómez Peña.  During his residency, from October 6-11, 2014, we present a series of events including a two-day workshop, a performance, and a multimedia performance lecture featuring Guillermo Gómez-Peña and La Pocha Nostra.  This residency is part of our 2014-2015 “Visual Culture in the Performative” series. All events are free and open to the public.

    Guillermo Gómez-Peña is a performance artist, writer, activist, radical pedagogue, and director of the performance troupe, La Pocha Nostra. Please click here for more information about Gómez-Peña and La Pocha Nostra.

    Exercises for Rebel Artists: Two-day performance workshop led by La Pocha Nostra troupe members, Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Saúl García-López
    October 7 & 8, 1:00-8:00PM.

    Imaginary Activism: The Role of the Artist Beyond the Art World

    Performance, October 9, 8:00PM, Fredric March Play Circle Theatre, Memorial Union
    **Please Note: This is a free event, however tickets are required. Please pick up free tickets, available on Friday, Sept 26, at Memorial Union Theatre Box Office.**

    Multiple Journeys: The Life and Work of Guillermo Gómez-Peña
    Multimedia Lecture Performance, October 10, 8:00PM, Elvehjem Building, L160

    Guillermo Gómez-Peña’s Residency with the Center for Visual Cultures is generously supported by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program, Department of English, Department of Art History, UW-Madison Lectures Committee, Fredric March Play Circle Theatre, Memorial Union, and the Anonymous Fund. And generously co-sponsored by: Art Department, Chican@ and Latin@ Studies Program, Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, and Department of Theatre and Drama.

  • 2013-2014

    AfricaCartoons presents Godfrey “Gado” Mwampembwa, one of the world’s leading editorial cartoonists.

    Exhibition: “Africa and China: The Political Cartoons of Gado.”
    Monday, May 5 through Friday, May 30 in Memorial library.
    Brownbag: “China in Africa: An African Cartoonist’s View.”
    Wednesday, May 7 at 12:00 noon in Ingraham 206.
    “An Afternoon with Gado,” informal conversations over refreshments and pizza.
    Thursday, May 8 1:00 – 3:00 PM in Van Hise 1418.
    Sponsored by the African Studies Program, the African Diaspora and Atlantic World Research Circle, the Department of African Languages and Literature, the Mellon Comics Workshop, the Department of English, and the Center for Visual Cultures.


    A.W. Mellon Workshop: Art + Scholarship presents Gregg Bordowitz, filmmaker, AIDS media activist, writer, opera composer.

    Screening and Discussion of work by artist Gregg Bordowitz.
    Friday, April 25 at 4:00 PM in Elvehjem L150.
    Lecture: “Materialist Geography and the Knight’s Move.”
    Thursday, May 1 at 7:00 PM in Elvehjem L150.
    Brown Bag seminar.
    Friday, May 2 at 12:00 PM in Elvehjem L170.
    The Gregg Brodowitz events are co-sponsored by the Art Department, Department of Art History, Department of Communication Arts, English Department, LGBT Campus Center, and the Center for Visual Cultures.


    The A.W. Mellon Comics Workshop presents “Comics at UW-Madison.”

    Friday, April 18 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM in the Design Lab (College Library 2252)
    This program is part of the A.W. Mellon Interdisciplinary Workshops in the Humanities sponsored by the Center for the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin – Madison with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Co-sponsored by the Center for Visual Cultures.


    Henry J. Drewal, Evjue-Bascom Professor of African and African Diaspora Art History with the Department of Art History and Department of Afro-American Studies, UW – Madison.

    Lecture: “Embodied Knowledge: Making Sense of Art.”
    Thursday, April 17 at 6:00 PM in Elvehjem Building L140.
    Presented by the Center for Visual Cultures.
    Part of the Center for Visual Cultures year-long lecture series on “Global Affect, Materiality, and the Senses.”

    Ronald Radano, Professor of Musicology and Ethnomusicology with the School of Music, UW – Madison

    Lecture: “Fleshy Sound: Racial Embodiment and the Global Circulation of Black Music.”
    Wednesday, April 16 at 5:30 PM (had to be cancelled and postponed for a later date)
    Presented by the Center for Visual Cultures.
    Part of the Center for Visual Cultures year-long lecture series on “Global Affect, Materiality, and the Senses.”

    Mike Konopacki, syndicated political cartoonist.

    Lecture: The A.W. Mellon Comics Workshop presents “Organizing comics: cartooning truth to power.”
    Thursday, March 28 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM in the Design Lab (College Library 2252)
    This program is part of the A.W. Mellon Interdisciplinary Workshops in the Humanities sponsored by the Center for the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin – Madison with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Co-sponsored by the Center for Visual Cultures.


    Dr. Melinda Barlow, Associate Professor of Film Studies at the University of Colorado.

    Lecture: GradForum presents “Enchanted Objects: Stories Women Tell about the Things They Keep.”
    Thursday, March 27 at 6:00 PM and Friday, March 28 at 5:00 PM in Elvehjem Building L140.
    Presented by Art History GradForum and the Department of Art History. Co-sponsored by the Center for Visual Cultures and the LGBT Campus Center and made possible through generous funding by the Anonymous Fund and additional support from the Department of Art History.


    P.A. Skantze and Matthew Fink: “Methodologies in Motion: Manifesto, Workshop & Public Performances for a Political Aesthetics of Affective Attention.”

    Lecture: “Methodologies in Motion: Public Manifesto and Conversation toward a Political Aesthetics of Affective Attention
    Wednesday,” March 26, Elvehjem Building, L140 at 6:00 PM.
    Workshop and public performance: “All that Fell and A Workshop in Physical Radio”
    2-Day Workshop from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM on Wednesday, March 26 and Thursday, March 27 in the Center for Visual Cultures in Memorial Library room 218.
    Public Performance on Friday, March 28 at 8:00 PM, Elvehjem Building, L160.
    Workshop Discussion and Rehearsal and Public Performance of “afterKLEIST anORATORIO”
    Workshop Rehearsal from Noon to 2:00 PM on Friday, March 28 and Saturday, March 29 at the Center for Visual Cultures in Memorial Library room 218.
    Performance on Saturday, March 29 at 6:00 PM at the University Club.
    Sponsored by the Center for Visual Cultures and organized by Jill Casid, Professor of Visual Studies with the Department of Art History and Coordinator of the Visual Culture Cluster. Co-sponsored by the Mellon Workshop on Art and Scholarship, in Theory and Practice, the Department of Art, and the Department of Theatre and Drama. Funding courtesy of the Anonymous Fund and the Mellon Workshop on Art and Scholarship, in Theory and Practice.
    Part of the Center for Visual Cultures year-long lecture series on “Global Affect, Materiality, and the Senses.”

    Professor Swati Chattopadhyay, Professor and Chair of the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Lecture: “Of Small Spaces Forgotten.”
    Thursday, 6 March 2014 at 5:30 PM in Elvehjem 140.
    Presented by the Center for Visual Cultures. Co-sponsored by the Center for South Asia and Department of Art History. Funding courtesy of the University Lectures Committee with additional support from the Center for South Asia and the Department of Art History.
    Part of the Center for Visual Cultures year-long lecture series “Global Affect, Materiality, and the Senses.”

    Dr. Christiane Gruber, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the History of Art department at the University of Michigan.

    The Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows Program presents “Images of the Prophet Muhammad In and Out of Modernity: The Curious Case of a 2008 Mural in Tehran.”
    Thursday, February 6 at 6:00 PM in Elvehjem 140
    The event is sponsored by the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows Program, the Department of Art History, and the Center for Visual Cultures.


    Agnes Lugo-Ortiz from the University of Chicago.

    Lecture: “Portraiture and Enslavement: A Transatlantic Account.”
    Thursday, December 5 at 5 PM in Elvejhem Building L150.
    Sponsored by the Spanish and Portuguese Studies Program; the Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program; and The Center for Visual Cultures.


    Stuart Horodner, visiting curator.

    Lecture about professional practices, career strategy, and the reasons who someone wants to be an artist and how they sustain their creative curiosity over a lifetime.
    Monday, November 18 at 4:30 PM in Elvehjem Building, Room L160.
    This lecture is presented by the Art Department with funding from the University Lectures Committee courtesy of the Anonymous Fund. Co-sponsored by the Department of Art History, the Center for Visual Cultures, and the Chazen Museum of Art.


    An afternoon symposium

    “Data in the Humanities plus Art”
    Friday, November 8 at 1:00-5:00 PM in the DeLuca Forum, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery
    Co-Sponsored by the New Arts Venture Challenge, the Humanities Research Bridge, the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, the UW-Madison General Library System, the Department of Statistics, the Department of English, and the Center for Visual Cultures.


    Workshop and Lecture by Visiting Scholar, Elizabeth Freeman, Professor of English at the University of California, Davis and Editor of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies.

    Workshop: “Sacramental Time in Djuna Barnes,” led by Professor Elizabeth Freeman on Thursday, November 7 at 10:00 AM in The Center for Visual Cultures’ meeting room, Memorial Library, Room 218.
    Lecture: “Feeling (un)timely: the anachronic and synchronic as modes of becoming,” a lecture by Professor Elizabeth Freeman on November 7 at 6 PM in Elvejhem Building L140.
    Presented by the Center for Visual Cultures. Co-Sponsored by the Departments of Art History, English, and Gender and Women’s Studies. Funding courtesy of the Anonymous Fund with additional support from Art History and English.
    Part of the year-long lecture series for The Center for Visual Cultures on “Global Affect, Materiality, and the Senses.”

    Symposium: “Coordinated Seeing? Thinking with Vision, Hand, and Mind: a symposium exploring the intersections of brain research, vision science, and the humanities.”

    Morning keynote will by Trenton Jerde, PhD, Center for Cognitive Sciences, University of Minnesota, “Functional Organization of Space and Movement in Human Frontoparietal Cortex.” The afternoon keynote by Lynda Barry, Art Department; Image Lab, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, UW-Madison, “Hand Jive: Drawing Fast and Slow.”
    Friday, November 1 from 9:15 AM to 12:15 PM; 1:15 PM to 4:00 PM in the Chazen Auditorium of the Chazen Museum.
    Presented by The Center for Visual Cultures and the McPherson Eye Research Institute. Co-sponsored by Art, Art History, & Life Sciences Communication departments.


    “Where Media Practice Meets STS: A Collaborative Workshop in Visual Science & Technology Studies.”

    Thursday, October 31 and Friday, November 1. in the Wisconsin Idea Room of the Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall
    Funded through the generous support of the Robert F. and Jean E. Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies at the University of Wisconsin- Madison, the Critical Media Practice program at Harvard University, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Co-sponsored by the Center for the Humanities and the Center for Visual Cultures.


    A.W. Mellon Comics Workshop Presents a Workshop with Lynda Barry.

    “Drawing Words and Speaking Pictures: The Mysterious Thing We Call Comics”
    October 25 1-3pm in the Media Studio (College Library 2252).
    In partnership with the Center for Visual Culture and the Center for the Humanities.


    Exhibition and Opening: “Our House!! Unsettling the Domestic, Queering the Spaces of Home.”

    Curated by Lex Lancaster, featuring works by Anna Campbell, Jill H. Casid, Jay Ludden, Portia Danis, River Bullock, Ruthie Rolfsmeyer, and Sylvie Rosenthal.
    Exhibition Opening Thursday, October 17th, 2013, 5:00 – 8:00 PM.
    Open until November 8
    Sponsored by the Department of Art History and co-sponsored by The Center for Visual Cultures.


    Professor Shiela Reaves, Professor of UW Life Sciences Communication and affiliate faculty member of UW American Indian Studies

    Lecture: “The Visual Brain: The First Two Seconds.”
    Thursday, October 10 at 6pm in Elvehjem L140.
    Part of the year-long lecture series for The Center for Visual Cultures on “Global Affect, Materiality, and the Senses.”

    Visiting Scholar: Mary Celeste Kearney, Associate Professor of Film, Television, and Theatre at Notre Dame University

    Lecture: “Sparkle, Glitter, Shine: The Postfeminist Luminosity of Contemporary Girls’ Media.” Complicating Angela McRobbie’s theory of the “postfeminist masquerade.”
    Thursday, October 10th from 4 to 5:30 pm in Chazen L140.
    The lecture is co-sponsored by the Departments of Communication Arts, and of Gender and Women’s Studies, by the School of Library and Information Studies, and by the Center for Visual Cultures. Funding courtesy of the Kemper K Knapp Bequest Fund.


    Esther Dischereit (Berlin/Vienna), Holly Handman-Lopez (Oberlin: Dance, with UW-Madison participants), Todd Hammes and Chana Dischereit (percussion).

    “Transforming Words,” a word-movement-sound performance.
    Tuesday, September 24 at 6:00 PM at the DeLuca Forum, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery (University Ave/Orchard St.)


    Jill H. Casid, Professor of Visual Studies in the Department of Art History.

    Lecture: “Queer Projection: Theses on ‘The Future of an Illusion.”
    Thursday, September 9 in Elvehjem L140.
    Part of the Center for Visual Culture’s series on “Global Affect, Materiality, and the Senses.”

  • 2011-2012

    Visiting Scholar Barbara Browning, Associate Professor of Performance Studies, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University

    Public Lecture:“I’m Trying to Reach You: performing fiction/performing scholarship”
    Thursday, November 10, 2011
    4:00 pm
    Room L140, Chazen Museum of Art

    Co-sponsored by the Department of English and the Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program (LACIS).

    Visiting Scholar Patty Chang, performance artist and filmmaker

    Lecture and Workshop with Patty Chang
    Thursday and Friday, February 9-10, 2012
    Elvehjem Building, Chazen Museum of Art

    Sponsored by the the Anonymous Fund and Global Studies/International Institute Seminar Series.

    Visiting Scholar Lowery Stokes Sims, Curator at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York

    Lecture and Workshop with Lowery Stokes Sims
    Thursday and Friday, March 1-2, 2012
    Elvehjem Building, Chazen Museum of Art

    Sponsored by the Anonymous Fund, the Global Studies/International Institutes Seminar Series, the Department of Art History, the Department of Afro-American Studies, the Art Department, the African Studies Program, and the Gender and Women’s Studies Research Center.

    Visiting Scholar Dr. Alfred Sommer, Professor of Epidemiology, Ophthalmology, and International Health

    Lecture and Workshop with Dr. Alfred Sommer
    Monday, April 23, 2012
    Biochemistry Building, 420 Henry Mall

    Dr. Sommer’s visit was supported by the International Institute Seminar Series and the Anonymous Fund and is co-sponsored by the Eye Research Institute.

    Visiting Scholar Nicholas Mirzoeff, Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University

    Lecture, Workshop, and Reception with Nicholas Mirzoeff
    April 22-24, 2012

    Organized by the Aesthetic Relations Mellon Workshop of the Center for Humanities. Supported by the International Institute Seminar Series and the Anonymous Fund.

    Visiting Scholar Jaqueline Berndt, Professor of Art and Media Studies at Kyoto Seika University, Japan

    Lecture and Workshop with Jaqueline Berndt
    Friday and Saturday, April 27-28, 2012
    Elvehjem Building, Chazen Museum of Art

    Sponsored by the the Anonymous Fund and Global Studies/International Institute Seminar Series.

    CVC Brown-Bag Presentations

  • 2010-2011

    Visiting Scholar Dr. Michael F. Marmor, Stanford University
    Public Lecture: “The Artist’s Eyes: Vision and the History of Art”
    September 28, 2010 at 5:30 pm
    Health Sciences Learning Center, 750 Highland Avenue

    Dr. Marmor was presented in conjunction with the 2nd Annual Eye Research Institute Vision Science & Visual Art Poster and Gallery Session

    Visiting Scholar Suzanne Anker, Professor at the School of Visual Arts and a visual artist and theoretician working with genetic imagery
    Public Lecture:“Laboratory of Art’s Knowledge”
    December 9, 2010 at 6:00 pm
    Town Center, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery
    330 North Orchard Street

    Suzanne Anker was presented in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Illuminate: Year of the Arts and the UW Arts Institute Interdisciplinary Artists-in-Residence Leslie Hill and Helen Paris.

    Click here to see images from the UW Arts Institute performance and symposium event “Inside Story: Performance, Biography & Biology,” (December 4–12, 2010).

    Visiting Scholar Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie, Associate Professor of Art History at the University of California–Santa Barbara and African arts entrepreneur.
    Public Lecture: “Who Owns Africa’s Art? Museums, Knowledge Work and the Economics of Cultural Patrimony”
    March 3, 2011 at 5:00 pm
    Chazen Museum of Art, Room L140
    800 University Avenue

    Visiting Scholar Dianne Harris, Professor of Landscape Architecture, Architecture, Art History, and History and Director, Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities.
    Public Lecture: “Displaying Race: Material Culture, White Identities, and the Postwar House”
    March 28, 2011 at 5:30 pm
    Chazen Museum of Art, Room L140
    800 University Avenue

    Fred Wilson, Artist and Independent Curator.
    Public Lecture: “The Silent Message of the Museum”
    April 5, 2011 at 6:00 pm
    Chazen Museum of Art, Room L160
    800 University Avenue

    Additional Lectures and Events
    A.W. Mellon Workshop in Visualities beyond Ocularcentrism

    CVC Brown-Bag Presentations

    The Center for Visual Cultures events are presented in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Illuminate: Year of the Arts

  • 2009-2010

    Visualities beyond Ocularcentrism, a 2009-2010 Series of Public Conferences on Sense Perception and Experience before and in the Wake of the Digital

    October 5-6, 2009: Race as Ocularcentrism
    Mini-conference with Jennifer González, including a public lecture and workshop.

    October 8-9, 2009: Seeing Beyond the Art-Science Divide
    Mini-conference with Stephen Palmer, including a public lecture and workshop.

    October 29-30, 2009: Neuroarthistory and the Nature of Visual Culture
    Mini-conference with John Onians, including a public lecture and workshop.

    November 16-17, 2009: The Newtonian Slave Body
    Mini-conference with James Delbourgo, including a public lecture and workshop.

    December 10-11, 2009: The West Indian Front Room: Domestic Material Culture in and across Migrant Diasporas
    Mini-conference with Michael McMillan, including a public lecture and workshop.

    February 26, 2010: Thinking Through Diagrams
    Mini-conference with Michael Whitmore, John Bender, Michael Marrinan, James Elkins, Tom Conley, Dalia Judovitz, Daniel Rosenberg, and Daniel Selcer, including public lectures, workshops, and a research colloquium.

    March 5-6, 2010: Material Images, the Senses, and Religious Experience in the West from Late Antiquity to the Early Modern
    Mini-conference with Eric Palazzo, Bissera Pentcheva, Pamela Sheingorn, Kellie Robertson, Cynthia Hahn, Walton O. Schalick, and Thomas E.A. Dale, including public lectures, workshops, and a symposium.

    April 8, 2010: See me if you can! Philosophy, Performance, and the Aesthetics of Personal Being
    Mini-conference with Alva Noë, including a public lecture and workshop.

    Additional Lectures and Events
    A.W. Mellon and H.C. White Workshops in Visualities beyond Ocularcentrism

    October 15, 2009: Public lecture by Brent Keever, Director of the Critical Studies Program at the Paris Center for Critical Studies
    “The Gas Screen: Sense, Surveillance, Sublimation through Fabien Chalon’s Le Monde en marche”

    March 2, 2010: Brownbag lunch presentation with Leslie Hill, performance artist and filmmaker
    Bring your lunch to the Center for Visual Cultures to hear Leslie Hill discuss her work with Helen Paris as “Curious” and their plans for their upcoming Fall 2010 residency and course at UW-Madison. Coffee and tea will be provided. For more information on the UW Arts Institute Fall 2010 residency program visit Leslie Hill and Helen Paris, Interdisciplinary Artists-in-Residence.

    March 11, 2010: Workshop with V.S. Ramachandran and Catherine Malabou
    This workshop presented by the Wisconsin Union Directorate’s Distinguished Lecture Series and the Center for the Humanities in conjunction with the Center for Visual Cultures.

    April 21, 2010: Public Lecture by Adam Kern, Associate Professor in East Asian Languages and Literature
    “Refiguring ‘Haiku Pictures’ (Haiga): From Chinese Ink Painting to Japanese Erotica.”

    May 3 , 2010: Brownbag discussion: What is Visual Culture / What is Visual Studies?
    Please join the Center for Visual Cultures for an informal discussion about visual culture and visual studies. Coffee, tea, and light refreshments will be provided.

  • 2008-2009

    Parallax: Changing Perspectives in Visual Culture, a 2008-2009 Series of Public Conferences

    October 13-14, 2008: Queer Theory, Visual Culture
    Mini-conference with David L. Eng and Ann Pellegrini, including public lectures and workshops.

    November 4-7, 2008: Photography and the Technologies of Empire and Race
    Mini-conference with Shawn Michelle Smith and Marcus Wood, including public lectures, workshops, research colloquium and exhibitions.

    February 12-13, 2009: Perception
    Mini-conference with Barbara Maria Stafford, including public lectures, workshops, research colloquium and exhibition.

    April 8-10, 2009: Worlding Visual Culture: Transnational Feminism and the Visual
    Mini-conference with Amelia Jones and Ranjana Khanna, including public lectures, workshops and research colloquium.

    Additional Lectures
    April 7, 2009: Public lecture by Rosamond Purcell
    “Metamorphic Histories”

  • 2007-2008

    New Directions in Visual Culture, a 2007-2008 Series of Public Conferences

    October 25-27, 2007: Visual Theory: Interruption, Interference, Intervention
    Mini-conference with Norman Bryson and Kaja Silverman, including public lectures, workshops and a research colloquium.

    November 6-9, 2007: Islam, Religion and Visual Culture
    Mini-conference with Finbarr Barry Flood, Mazyar Lotfalian, Hamid Naficy and Jessica Winegar, including a screening, public lectures, workshops and a research colloquium.

    February 7-8, 2008: Visualizing Science
    Mini-conference with Michael Lynch, including a public lecture, workshop, research colloquium and exhibition.

    April 9-11, 2008: Interdisciplinarity and the University Art Museum
    Mini-conference with Amy Lonetree and Alan Shestack.

    Additional Lectures
    March 11, 2008: Public lecture by Camilo Trumper, PhD Candidate, Department of History, University of California-Berkeley. “ ‘A ganar la calle’: The Politics of Public Space and Public Art in Santiago, Chile, 1970-1973.”
    Presented by the Visual Culture Cluster Hire Search Committee. Co-Sponsored by Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies and the Department of History.

    March 25, 2008: Public lecture by Lyle Massey, Assistant Professor, Department of Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University. “‘Galen never inspected a woman’s uterus, even in his dreams…’: Gendering the Anatomical Body in the Renaissance.” Sponsored by the Visual Culture Cluster Hire Search Committee. Co-sponsored by Women’s and Gender Studies and the Department of Art History.

    March 27, 2008: Public lecture by Janet Vertesi, Ph.D. Candidate, Science and Technology Studies, Cornell University.
    “‘Seeing Like a Rover’: Image Processing on the Mars Exploration Rover Mission.” Sponsored by the Visual Culture Cluster Hire Search Committee. Co-sponsored by the Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies and the Department of the History of Science.

    April 1, 2008: Public lecture by Adam Kern, Associate Professor, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University. “The Geisha’s Forbidden Comicbook: Gender, Advertising, and the Visual-Verbal Imagination in Early Modern Japan.”
    Sponsored by the Visual Culture Cluster Hire Search Committee. Co-sponsored by the Center for East Asian Studies and the Department of East Asian Languages and Literature.

  • 2006-2007

    October 19-22, 2006: TRANS: A Visual Culture Conference

    With keynote speakers Sue Golding, Nicholas Mirzoeff, Olu Oguibe, Leslie Hill and Helen Paris, a performance by Tim Miller screening with Judith Helfand of her film Blue Vinyl, and exhibitions at Ironworks, MMoCA, Design Gallery, and the 7th Floor and 734 Galleries. Pre-conference events included lectures by Ute Ritschel, Erica Rand, and Tim Miller.

    This conference takes the transsubstantiating challenge of the “trans” in Transdisciplinarity, Transgender, Transethnic, Transart, and Transracial not just as its theme but also as its point of departure. How might the cultural and political processes of the “trans” in transplanting, transmitting, transculturating, and transferring mark not only hybridizing crossings but also the forging of structural transformations?

    Projecting past the threshold of defining what Visual Culture Studies is, the conference invites experiments in doing that may take the forms of papers, demonstrations, exhibitions, performances, roundtable discussions, pre-circulated papers, seminars, electronic postings and physical installations that take us beyond the situation of between-ness toward the generation and practice of viable integrations of history, theory, practice, and activism.

    TRANS: A Visual Culture Conference Keynote Speakers

  • 2005-2006

    October 19-21, 2005: Ella Shohat, Professor of Cultural Studies, Art and Public Policy and Middle Eastern Studies at New York University.

    October 19: Screening of “Forget Baghdad” and discussion with Ella Shohat,”Taboo Memories: Diasporic Iraqi Voices.”
    October 20: Ella Shohat Lecture, “Sacred Word, Profane Image: Theologies of Adaptation.”
    October 21: Ella Shohat Workshop, “The Culture Wars in Translation.”

    November 7-9, 2005: Christopher Pinney, Professor of Anthropology and Visual Culture at University College, London.

    November 8: Christopher Pinney Lecture, “The Coming of Photography in India.”
    November 9: Christopher Pinney Workshop, “The Social Life of Images and ‘Wavy Meaning’.”

    February 1-3, 2006: Marita Sturken, Associate Professor of Culture and Communication at New York University.

    February 2: Marita Sturken Lecture, “Teddy Bears, Snow Globes, and the Kitschification of America.”
    February 3: Marita Sturken Workshop, “Architectures of Grief and the Aesthetics of Absence.”

    February 27-29, 2006: José Esteban Muñoz, chair of the department of Performance Studies at New York University ’s Tisch School of the Arts.

    February 27: José Esteban Muñoz Lecture, “The Vulnerability Artist: Latina Performativity and Affect.”
    February 26: José Esteban Muñoz, Workshop, “Cruising Utopia.”

    April 17-19, 2006: M. Madhava Prasad, Professor of Film and Cultural Studies in the Centre for European Studies, Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages, Hyderabad, India.

    April 18: M. Madhava Prasad Lecture, “Contemporary Indian Cinema and the Figure of the Culturally Backward Spectator.”
    April 19: M. Madhava Prasad Workshop, “Kings of Democracy?: Understanding Indian Cinema’s Political Agency.”

    April 21, 2006: Workshop with David Hickey, free-lance writer of fiction and cultural criticism, and Schaeffer Professor of Modern Letters at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

  • 2004-2005

    September 13-14, 2004: Visiting Speaker Irit Rogoff

    September 13: Irit Rogoff Lecture “Of Fear, Of Contact, Of Entanglement”
    September 14: Irit Rogoff Workshop “Looking Away-Participating Singularities”

    October 14, 2004: Worskhop with Michael Taussig

    Michael Taussig Workshop”Color and Heat”

    February 11, 2005: Places of Memory: A Visual Culture Faculty Colloquium

    February 11, 2005: Book Party for Jill Casid’s new book,“Sowing Empire: Landscape and Colonization”

    February 23, 2005: Visual Culture Workshop with Rebecca Solnit

    February 25, 2005: Visual Culture Workshop with Alexander Duttman, Professor of Philosophy and Visual Cultures, Goldsmith’s College, London, on Visconti’s “Il Lavoro”

    March 30, 2005: Visual Culture Workshop with Philip Ball

    April 4-6, 2005: Visiting Speaker John Greyson

    April 4, 2005: Screening of “Proteus,” a film by Jack Lewis and John Greyson followed by Q&A with John Greyson
    April 5, 2005: John Greyson Lecture “THE QUEEN’S SORE THROAT”
    April 6, 2005: John Greyson Workshop “AGIT-PROP FOR A NEW MILLENIUM”

  • 2003-2004

    September 26, 2003: Meet New Visual Culture Faculty Member, Preeti Chopra

    October 24, 2003: Visual Culture Faculty Research Forum
    Presentations by Mary Beltran (Communication Arts), Haodong Cai (Psychology), Linda Essig (Theatre and Drama), Lisa Gralnick (Art), Hong Jiang (Geography), Caroline Levine (English), Mark Nelson (Environment, Textiles, and Design), Tejumola Olaniyan (African Languages and Literature), and Kurt Squire (Curriculum and Instruction).

    February 4, 2004: Interfaces: a Visual Culture Faculty Colloquium
    Featuring talks by UW Faculty Julian Lombardi, Lisa Nakamura, and Kurt Squire.

    February 9-13, 2004: Visiting Scholar Judith Halberstam

    February 9: Judith Halberstam Graduate Seminar Visit for Border & Transcultural Studies
    February 10: Judith Halberstam Workshop
    February 11: Judith Halberstam Lecture, “Ceremonies of Our Present: Photography and Subcultural Lives.”
    February 13: Judith Halberstam Undergraduate Class Visit
    February 13: Judith Halberstam LGBT event

    March 30-31, 2004: Visiting Scholar Rey Chow

    March 30: Film Screening of Tsai Ming-liang’s “The River.”
    March 31: Rey Chow Workshop, “The Protestant Ethnic and the Spirit of Capitalism.”
    March 31: Rey Chow Lecture, “A Pain in the Neck,” An Episode of ‘Incest,’ and other Enigmas of an Allegorical Cinema: Tsai Ming-liang’s ‘The River.'”

    April 14-18, 2004: Verbal Performance and Visual Cultures
    African Literature Association 30th Anniversary Conference at the Pyle Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    April 21, 2004: Sex: A Visual Culture Faculty Colloquium
    Featuring talks by UW Faculty Jill Casid, Anne McClintock, and Michael Peterson.

  • 2002-2003

    November 8, 2002:, Get to Know New Visual Culture Faculty
    Lunch with Jill Casid and Lisa Nakamura.

    November 22, 2002: Faculty Research Forum
    Terry Boyd, Ksenija Bilbija, Keith Cohen, Nietzchka Keene, Theresa Kelley, Cavalliere Ketchum, Guido Podesta, Cherene Sherrard, Ben Singer, and Lee Palmer Wandel.

    February 27- March 1, 2003
    Graduate Student Interdisciplinary Conference
    “(In)formation: Identity, Community,Performance and Visual Cultures”

    March 31, 2003: Lecture by Preeti Chopra
    “Images of a Fragmented City: Colonial and Postcolonial Bombay”

    April 7, 2003: Lecture by Jon McKenzie
    “Look and Feel: The Visuality of Affective Networks”

    April 14, 2003: Lecture by John Paul Ricco
    “Name No One Man: Rauschenberg’s Erased De Kooning Drawing”

  • 2001-2002

    October 26, 2001: Fall Faculty Forum
    Presentations on work-in-progress by David Bordwell, Sonya Clark, Henry Drewal, Jo Ellen Fair, Aristotle Georgiades & Gail Simpson, Gregg Mitman, James Moy, David Woodward.

    February 28, 2002: Lecture by Lisa Cartwright
    “Pictures of Waiting Children: The Visibility of Disability in Adoption Medicine”

    March 4, 2002: Lecture by Jan Estep
    “Transcendental Twaddle: Art and Saying Wittgenstein”

    March 7, 2002: Lecture by Ellen Fernandez-Sacco
    “Theatres of Self and Nation: Monticello and Peale’s Museum”

    March 11, 2002: Lecture by John Paul Ricco
    “The Art of the Consummate Cruise”

    March 14, 2002: Lecture by Jill Casid
    “Sympathetic Terror: Technologies of Projection, Techniques of Empire”

    March 18, 2002: Lecture by Brian Goldfarb
    “Sense Ability: Fragments on Media Pedagogy, Digital Prosthetics, and Assistive Technology”

    March 21, 2002: Lecture by Lisa Nakamura
    “Menu-Driven Identities: Cybertyping and the Work of Race in the Age of Digital Reproduction”

    April 1, 2002: Lecture by Malcolm Turvey
    “‘Anti-ocularcentrism’ and Modernism”

    April 3, 2002: Lecture by Laura Kuo
    “Modalities of Advertising: Transnational Feminism and Postmodern Art Activism “

  • 2000-2001

    December 1, 2000: First Faculty Research Forum
    Presentations on work-in-progress by Noel Carroll, Laurie Beth Clark, Susan Cook, Gail L. Geiger, Kenneth George, Theresa Kelley, Shanti Kumar, James Leary, Jean Lee, Douglas Rosenberg, Ellen Sapega, Janet Silbernagel, Freida High Tesfagiorgis, and Joseph Varga.

    February 2, 2001: Second Faculty Research Forum
    Presentations on work-in-progress by Sally Banes, Susan D. Bernstein, Beverly Gordon, Michelle Grabner, Nietzchka Keene, Ann Smart Martin, Lynn Nyhart, Patrick Rumble, Jane Schulenberg, and R. Anderson Sutton

    February 15, 2001: What is Visual Culture?
    Discussion on visuality led by Noel Carroll and Laurie Beth Clark

    February 26, 2001: Lecture by Nicholas Mirzoeff
    “Intervisuality: Working Out Visual Culture in the Era of Global Capital”

    March 5, 2001: Lecture by Erica Rand
    “Breeders in a Snow Globe: Looking for Sex at Ellis Island”

    March 19, 2001: Ping Chong & Pauline Oliveros
    Conversation hosted by Michael Peterson

    April 4, 2001: What isn’t Visual Culture?
    Discussion on the “other” senses led by Sally Banes and Susan Cook.

    April 12, 2001: Seminar with W.J.T. Mitchell and Freida High W. Tesfagiorgis
    A discussion of Mitchell’s essays, “What is Visual Culture?” and “What do pictures really want?”

    April 12, 2001: Lecture by W.J.T Mitchell
    “The Work of Art in the Age of Biocybernetic Reproduction”
    Mitchell is a Professor at the University of Chicago, editor of Critical Inquiry, and author/editor of ten books, including Picture Theory and The Last Dinosaur Book.

    April 26, 2001: Lecture by Adrian Heathfield
    “On Coolness”

    May 4, 2001: Third Faculty Research Forum
    Presentations on work-in-progress by Kelley Conway, Nicole Huang, Mary Layoun, Michael Peterson, Gene Phillips, Shiela Reaves, Mariama Ross, Diane Sheehan.

    May 12, 2001: Visual Culture Party
    A chance to socialize informally at the end of the semester.