Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

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A Feminist Space at Leeds: Looking Back to Think Forward — symposium

Griselda Pollock Book Covers

Student Common Room
School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies
University of Leeds
Leeds LS2 9JT

‘Re-vision – the act of looking back, of seeing with fresh eyes, of entering an old text from a new critical direction – is for us more than a chapter in cultural history: it is an act of survival.’ Adrienne Rich, ‘When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-Vision’

On the occasion of Griselda Pollock’s 40th anniversary of teaching at the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Leeds, we invite scholars, pedagogues, activists and artists to come together in a moment of reflection and re-vision for a symposium in two parts on 16 & 17 December 2017.

This event aims to provide a space for critical reflections and responses in the context of a feminist project that has been sustained through the work of, and inspired by, Griselda Pollock in her 40 years at Leeds. As a conceptually rigorous body of work, at the intersection of art, culture and education, Griselda Pollock’s scholarship offers critical and cross-disciplinary interventions. Sharing the unfinished project of feminism, but ultimately in different ways, we aim to, first of all, reflect on what happened at Leeds over the past forty years and the specificity of different encounters with this feminist project.

A Feminist Space at Leeds: Looking Back to Think Forward commits to critically examine the diverse and rich intellectual and creative production which has developed in conversation with Griselda Pollock’s work.

It is looking ‘back’ that enables us to look ‘forward’: by reflecting on the significance of the presence of feminist critique in the context of art history, art practice, psychoanalysis, aesthetics, cultural theory, different differences and differencing, [etc.] this symposium ― as a space of encounter ― aims to think through the theoretical, political and institutional conditions necessary for feminist critical and constructive interventions in these fields in the future. Placing at the centre Griselda Pollock’s sustained address of a feminist problematic to art history, cultural theory and analysis and creative practices why were (and are?) these interventions important to the feminist project? What are the resistances that persist (or return) today at this specific intersection of writing with, or making art and its feminist effects? What are the feminist gestures we make in dedicating ourselves to scholarship, writing, and working on and with the creativity of women?

The first part of this symposium will comprise of short presentations and discussions looking back, towards a genealogy of a certain kind of contribution to feminism via art, art history and cultural studies.

The second will look forward to ask what is urgent to scholars currently working at the intersection of critical engagements in art, feminism and education, in the context of this practice of ‘re-visioning’.

The draft programme can be downloaded here.

The event is free to attend but booking is essential as places are limited. Please book here via eventbrite.



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