Associate professor of art history Dr. Tanja L. Jones, assistant professor of art history Dr. Doris Sung, and instructor and alumna Rebecca Teague (MA art history 2019) have been awarded a History of Art Grant by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation to organize a symposium titled “Challenging Empire: Women, Art, and the Global Early Modern World,” in partnership with the Birmingham Museum of Art.
The international two-day public symposium, to be held in March 2024, is intended to attract scholars from art history, Asian studies, women and gender studies, history, and digital humanities, as well as graduate students in those fields, to present research that de-centers the traditional Euro-centric model of study in the analysis of women’s cultural production and consumption surrounding the courts and empires (institutions associated with ruling power) in the period c. 1400-1750.
The symposium developed from the existing project, “Global Makers: Women Artists in the Early Modern Courts” which received a Kress Foundation Digital Art History Grant, 2020-22. That project serves to fill a significant gap in existing research in the study of the role of women as producers of visual and material culture in the courts and provides a digital commons resource for its study.
“With this project, we aim to encourage a more equitable view of early modern women’s experiences of and with art on a global scale, across traditionally held national and continental boundaries,” said Dr. Jones.
Dr. Doris Sung said that the symposium has the potential to significantly extend and expand knowledge of cultural production by and for early modern women on a global scale, emphasizing cross-cultural interactions and resulting artistic production.
“With this symposium, we hope to encourage and support sustained, interdisciplinary consideration of the role early modern women played in the hands-on production of visual and material culture in the courts of Europe and Asia during this time period,” said Sung.
The symposium will be open to the general public and events will be held at The University of Alabama and its partner institution, the Birmingham Museum of Art, on March 7 – 9, 2024, coinciding with International Women’s Day. The grant will support graduate student travel and participation and, after the symposium, an edited volume of essays based on the papers presented.
The symposium is also supported by a UA CARSCA (College Academy of Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity) grant.
For more information about The University of Alabama’s programs in art history and studio art, visit our Degree Programs page.