Catherine Zuromskis to Keynote Art History Symposium at UA

Tuscaloosa. – Dr. Catherine Zuromskis, associate professor of fine art at RIT, will present the keynote address atCatherine Zuromskis, keynote speaker at the 24th Annual Graduate Symposium in Art History at UA. the 24th Annual Graduate Student Symposium in Art History at UA on March 1, 2019. Zuromskis’ talk at 4:15 p.m. is titled, “Feeling History: Evidence, Affect, and the Visual Culture of the Kennedy Assassination.” The symposium, a shared production of the departments of art and art history at The University of Alabama and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, will take place this year at the Bryant Conference Center on UA’s campus.

In her talk, Zuromskis will explore shifting perceptions of the camera’s evidentiary capabilities through an analysis of the notorious Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination. The Zapruder film is an enigmatic piece of evidence, at once allowing us to witness the crime “first hand,” through the eyes of an everyday citizen, yet failing to prove anything we don’t already know or solve the crime we see committed. Examining the film in the various contexts in which it has been presented – Life magazine’s coverage of the assassination, popular films like Oliver Stone’s JFK and Peter Landesman’s Parkland, and the didactic exhibition of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealy Plaza – Zuromskis argues that the Zapruder film constitutes not so much a failure of technological representation as a move away from ideological narrative photographic or filmic truth to one of affective, first-person experience.

Poster for the 24th Annual Graduate Symposium in Art History at UA.Catherine Zuromskis is Associate Professor of Fine Art at Rochester Institute of Technology where she focuses on photography, contemporary art and twentieth-century American visual culture. Prior to coming to RIT, she taught at The University of New Mexico and University of California, Berkeley. She received her Ph.D. in Visual and Cultural Studies from the University of Rochester in 2006. She also has an M.A. from the University of Rochester, as well as an M.A. in Art History and Criticism from State University of New York at Stony Brook. In addition to her academic experience, she has worked at Pace Gallery in New York and at the ICA in Boston.

Zuromskis is the author of Snapshot Photography: The Lives of Images (MIT Press, 2013), a finalist for the College Art Association 2015 Charles Rufus Morey Book Prize; and the author and editor of The Factory (La Fabrica, 2012), the catalog for the exhibition From the Factory to the World: Photography and the Warhol Community, which she curated for PhotoEspaña 2012. Her writings on photography, film and visual culture have appeared Art Journal, American Quarterly, The Velvet Light Trap, Photography & Culture, Criticism and the edited volumes Photography: Theoretical Snapshots (Routledge: 2009) and Oil Culture (Minnesota: 2014). Her teaching interests center on histories and theories of photography, visual culture, contemporary art and critical theory. She also has taught courses such as Public Art in Twentieth-Century America, Photography and Celebrity Culture, The Snapshot Aesthetic, and Contemporary Art and New Media.

This year’s symposium is generously supported by The Graduate School; Dr. Robert Olin, Dean, College of Arts & Sciences; Dr. Tricia McElroy, Associate Dean, College of Arts & Sciences; Blount Scholars Program; New College; Department of Art and Art History; College of Continuing Studies; Harrison Galleries, LLC; Department of Modern Languages & Classics; and the Department of American Studies, of The University of Alabama.

About the symposium: The Annual Graduate Student Symposium in Art History, sponsored and shared by the departments of art and art history at The University of Alabama and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, alternates campuses each year. In addition to presentations from graduate students from multiple institutions, the symposium also features poster presentations from undergraduate researchers. The symposium was begun in 1995 by faculty on both campuses to bring their students together to hear and be heard by eminent scholars working in the field of art history. Renowned scholars such as Paul Barolsky in the field of Italian Renaissance art, Allison Kettering in the field of Dutch Baroque art, and young, up-and-coming scholars like Michael Yonan, Krista Thompson, and Graham Boettcher, now director of the Birmingham Museum of Art, have been keynote speakers.

The Joint Program for the M.A. in Art History began in 1987 between The University of Alabama and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The Joint Program offered the first, and still the only, graduate degree in art history in the state of Alabama.

For more information, contact: Dr. Lucy Curzon,, (205) 348-6458.