Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Undergraduates share research topics during art history symposium

December 1, 2020
<p>Event flyer from the 2020 Art History and Visual Culture Undergrad Symposium on Nov. 20, 2020.<br/><br/> </p>

Event flyer from the 2020 Art History and Visual Culture Undergrad Symposium on Nov. 20, 2020.

Five undergraduate students working with Associate Professor of art history Lily Woodruff presented their independent research projects during the 2020 Art History and Visual Culture Undergrad Symposium on Nov. 20. The theme for this year was “Refracting Histories of Art and Community."

“I am very proud of them, and I am genuinely excited to see them have the opportunity to share that work with the public today,” Woodruff said.

Each student was given 20 minutes to share their research followed by a five-minute Q&A session. After each student presented, Kristin Romberg, an associate professor of art history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign gave feedback to each student. The event ended with an open discussion with the attendees.

Arts and humanities senior Kaylee McCarthy focused on contemporary art practices. Her topic was “Useful and temporary art: redefining art’s role in a commodified world through Tania Bruera’s immigrant movement international.”

Art history senior Sophia Boismier presented on “AfriCOBRA: Wadsworth Jarrell and the focus on community.”

Boismier chose this topic because of her interest in contemporary activist art. 

“When thinking of questions that were going to guide my research, I was thinking of what legacy they (revolutionary artists) had brought to today,” Boismier said.

The third presenter was anthropology and art history and visual culture fifth-year student Caitlyn Danforth. Danforth presented on “Teaching accessibility in the digital humanities using Pueblo Bonito.” 

Her research focused on how disabled or visually impaired learners are able to interpret Bonito, a cultural site in Chaco, Mexico.

“By far this is a very challenging paper and concept to develop," Danforth said. "Even in my making the models and everything I came up against a lot of issues."

The fourth presenter was art history and visual culture senior Morgan Hollemans. Hollemans' topic was “Simply Sightly, Statuesque: Women in the art of Cassatt and Degas.”

She focused her research by comparing the perceptions of women artists Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas had and how those perceptions influenced their art. 

“Cassatt and Degas, shaped in their careers by an artistic world tainted by misogyny, portrayed women in a way that mirrors how they viewed them,” Hollemans said. 

Unlike the rest of the presenters, Hollemans was able to present her research only using two slides in her slideshow presentation. 

Art history and visual culture senior Aria Frawley ended the presentation portion of the symposium. Her topic was “From unwanted dick pics to depriving refrigerators.”

Frawley’s topic was inspired by her interest in feminist art and identity politics in Africa.

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