Assistant Professor Julia Walker will be presenting a paper this Friday, April 26, as part of the panel Agora to RiverFire: Landscapes Histories of the Public Realm at the annual meeting of the Society of Architectural Historians in Providence, RI.
Parades, Conventions, Rallies: Public Space and the Politics of Suffrage in New York State
In the United States, the turn of the twentieth century witnessed significant changes in the status of women in public space. Specific concern in this paper is the way in which women active in the suffrage movement in New York State made canny use of public space, using their new visibility in innovative ways specific both to their cause and to their time. By appearing en masse outside the private sphere, and by harnessing the power of new visual technologies like photography and film, these women inverted traditional regimes of surveillance and spatial control. Suffragists thus enacted what Jacques Rancière defines as “politics”—when “the natural order of domination is interrupted by the institution of a part of those who have no part.” For Rancière, politics is opposed to governance or rule, which he describes as “policing.” Instead, politics creates a state of indeterminacy that productively destabilizes authority. With its public squares, its streets and street walls, and its emphasis on community meeting places, I argue that the American city itself enabled this indeterminacy.
Drawing on work by scholars of gender and urbanism, this paper examines this new politics of public space. It also makes use of primary sources that have been discovered in conjunction with celebrations of the New York State suffrage centennial. Together with local and state organizations, architectural historians have been working to reveal this important history. Recent events include the city of Binghamton’s reenactment of its own significant suffrage parade and the landmarking of new sites on the “Suffrage Trail,” including the Centenary Methodist Church in Binghamton, where the state held its annual suffrage convention in 1913, and the Old Village Hall in the township of Lisle, where Florence Chauncey cast the first vote by a woman in New York State on January 5, 1918.
BU Professor Weighs in on Notre Dame Restoration
Nancy Um will deliver the 2019 Stern Lecture hosted by the Newcomb Art Department at Tulane University on Monday, April 8, 2019. The title of her talk is “From Land to Water and Text to Object: Porcelain Cultures of the Eighteenth Century.” More info: https://events.tulane.edu/content/2019-stern-lecture
At 5:00 PM on Sunday, March 17, Tom McDonough (Associate Professor) will join artist Amie Siegel for a conversation about her work to mark the publication of the catalogue Amie Siegel: Ricochet (2019), to which he has also contributed. The event, which includes a screening of Siegel’s 2016 film Genealogies, will be held at Simon Preston Gallery, 1 Rivington Street, New York.
Tom McDonough (Associate Professor) contributes an in-depth critical essay to Good Enough, a book surveying Eileen Quinlan’s use of Polaroid film from 2006 to 2017. Quinlan (born 1972), an internationally renowned artist and self-described “still-life photographer,” uses medium- and large-format analog cameras to create abstract photographs, working the film with steel wool or lengthy chemical processing. Among the subjects of her photographs are smoke, mirrors, Mylar, colored lights and other photographs. Initially used as a tool for proofing, Quinlan’s Polaroids can be seen as sketches, moments in which crucial formal and conceptual questions were explored and worked out. Moving through her extensive archive, one can find the origins of almost every larger body of work, as well as many ideas that remained in the repository, evidencing the artist’s desire to push beyond the constraints of her apparatus.
Nancy Um will present a lecture at the Center for Early Modern History at the University of Minnesota on Friday, March 15. It is entitled, “Beyond Blue and White: Itineraries of Porcelain in the Early 18th C.” More information: https://events.umn.edu/Online/default.asp?BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::permalink=event_b&BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::context_id=B1D3B63A-FF42-4661-969F-A3CBD84CEF06