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7th Annual Graduate Student Conference

Culver Center of the Arts

May 19, 2018

7th Annual Graduate Student Conference

Saturday, May 19, 2018, 9am - 5pm

Exile involves anything that precludes a person from inhabiting or experiencing a condition of establishment. Thus, exile can be self- or externally-imposed, natural or voluntary, and come about for a wide variety of reasons such as: politics, ecology, economics, safety, ideology, sexuality, religion, or expatriation for study/work/security purposes. Although exile often has negative connotations, it can also be liberating for some individuals, particularly if they were established in a place or manner that prevented them from expressing their true selves or beliefs.

Exile is a state or condition not bound to a specific place or time. Because of its strong impact on the people living through it, exile has inspired works of literature, theater, music, and the visual arts. Ostracism was a punishment considered worse than death in Greek literature. Shakespeare inflicted banishment on many of his characters. Napoleon Bonaparte’s court painter Jacques-Louis David was exiled in Brussels following the Bourbon restoration, and while there, produced extraordinary portraits of fellow exiles, supporters of the deposed emperor. Hungarian-born László Moholy-Nagy, a central figure at the German Bauhaus School in the 1920s, went through several self-imposed exiles as he sought creative freedom and inspiration. In 1935, in response to the rise of National Socialism, he relocated to London, and then again to Chicago. The Argentine Leon Ferrari was forced into exile in Brazil in 1976 because of his political artworks in opposition to the military dictatorship, which also disappeared his son Ariel the year after. Nidaa Badwan opted for a year-long voluntary exile in 2013, retreating to her room in Gaza, which she rarely left. There, she created a photographic self-portrait series that leaves the chaos outside, to the streets of Gaza.

At a time when war, natural disaster, ecological devastation, famine, and intolerance continue to drive hundreds of millions of people out of their homeland, the conference aims to be a platform of dialogue to explore this phenomenon and its complex implications. Questions we seek to consider include: In what way do artists engage with the experience of exile, where gender, sexuality, and ethnicity, assume new connotations? Under which conditions can exile art open a dialogue on issues of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality, and the status of immigration? 

We are honored to host Dr. Tatiana Flores, Associate Professor in the Departments of Art History at Rutgers University, as this year’s keynote speaker.

Conference Schedule:



                Camilla Querin, AHGSA Conference Coordinator 

                Jason Weems, Associate Professor, History of Art 

9:30-10:50 PANEL ONE 

                  Exiled From History, Moderated by Dr. Jason Weems 

                  Maxwell Forton, Binghamton University 

                  “Exiles in the Painted Desert: Colonial Legacies in Petrified  Forest National Park" 

                  Laura R. Colkitt, University of Florida, Gainesville 

                  “Exiled from Africa: Sokari Douglas Camp's Re-  contextualization of Past Injustice” 

                  Ana Leticia Adami, Columbia University / Universidade de São Paulo 

                  “Religious Life and Self-Exile: Learned Women in the Italian Renaissance” 

10:50-11.10 BREAK 

11:10-12:30 PANEL TWO 

                    Assimilation and Retention, Moderated by Dr. Patricia Morton 

                    Najah Pena, University of California, Riverside 

                    “Al-Tahtawi, Exile, Paris, and the Arabic Renaissance” 

                    Amelia Miholca, Arizona State University 

                    “Exil, Dor, Désir: The Romanian Exiles in Post-World War I Paris” 

                    Richard Nedjat-Haiem, University of Chicago 

                    “Ana ‘Albi Dalili W ‘Ali ’An ’Arabiyyati: The Jews are Arab Cultural Icons, Too!” 

12:30-2:00 LUNCH BREAK 


                Cynthia Neri Lewis, AHGSA Conference Coordinator 


                Dr. Tatiana Flores 

                Associate Professor, Rutgers University 

                “Perpetual Exile: The Caribbean as Ur-Diaspora” 

3:00-3:10 BREAK 

3:10-4:30 PANEL THREE 

                Networks of Exiles, Moderated by Dr. Susan Laxton 

                Katja Rivera, University of Illinois at Chicago 

                “The Old World as The Newest Thing: Felipe Ehrenberg’s Maps, 1970–74” 

                Paula Kupfer, University of Pittsburgh 

                “Photographs on the Move: Gertrudes Altschul and São Paulo’s Foto Cine Clube Bandeirante” 

                Adri Kácsor, Northwestern University 

                “The Communist Aesthetics of Exile: Constructivism Moves to Europe” 


                Rebecca Maness, AHGSA President

Image Credit: Anh-Thuy Nguyen, Boat Journey series, Brighton Beach # 1, 2013. Aluminum print, 8x8 in. Courtesy of the artist.

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