History of Art and Architecture

Call for proposals: Making Advances workshop

Call for proposals

Making Advances: Sex, Gender and the Politics of Images

April 30 – May 4, 2018

A collection-based workshop for Pitt faculty and graduate students
Presented as part of Collecting Knowledge Pittsburgh
Supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Co-leaders: Alex Taylor, History of Art and Architecture, and Kate Joranson, University Library System

Application deadline: February 23, 2018
12 participants will receive $2000 to participate in the week-long workshop and carry their work forward.

Whether through the unwanted advances of sexual harassment or the positive progress sought by LGBTQ communities, questions about sex, sexuality and gender occupy a dominant position in contemporary public discourse. These debates often hinge on visibility: the power of seeing and being seen, the visual cultures that shape gender norms, and the forms of recognition and identification that propel change. The world of images is, in other words, central to the politics of gendered and sexualized bodies.

This week-long workshop will explore the visual politics of sex, sexuality and gender through Pittsburgh’s rich museum and library collections. The workshop seeks to build connections between historic materials and the challenges of the present, considering how artworks enable forms of looking and touching that seep into everyday life, and how artists and activists have imagined new kinds of bodies and identities.

Participants are expected to then carry their work forward as a research or teaching initiative of some kind. Projects might take many forms but we are particularly interested in:

  • Research that makes use of objects in local collections and that could be developed into articles, digital exhibitions and/or blog posts;
  • Projects that draw on local collections to engage communities in issues concerning sex, sexuality and gender;
  • New or revised course materials that integrate objects from local collections into the content and structure of the course.

This is the third workshop presented as part of Collecting Knowledge Pittsburgh, a consortium of local museums, galleries and archives working together to share information and expertise, and foster collaboration in research, teaching, and public engagement.

How to apply

Applications are welcome from Pitt faculty and graduate students engaged in the theme of the workshop, from any discipline and any department, who are interested to engage with objects, collections, archives and museums.

Email applications to Alex Taylor alex.taylor@pitt.edu as a single Word document. Include a current CV and a short statement (approximately 500 words) explaining why you would like to participate, what you hope to gain, and what project or projects you can envisage carrying forward from the workshop (with the understanding, of course, that your initial ideas will probably transform as you explore the collections and work with other participants). Graduate students should include brief letter from their faculty supervisor or director of graduate studies confirming support of the application. Faculty should arrange a brief letter or email from their department chair or supervisor confirming her/his support.

Application deadline: February 23, 2018

For more information email alex.taylor@pitt.edu