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Thinking Out Loud

Humanities Center Affiliate Olson co-authors book on social practice art

Kristina Olson, associate director of the West Virginia University School of Art & Design, has published a new book titled “Social Practice Art in Turbulent Times with co-editor Eric J. Schruers.

“I was contacted by an editor with Routledge Publishing about doing a book for their ‘Art and Politics’ series based on a paper I gave at a national conference,” Olson said. “I knew that I wanted it to be a collection of essays by art historians writing about social practice art to make it a well-rounded and lively analysis of the topic.”

Humanities Center announces 2019 grant recipients

The Humanities Center has announced the recipients of its 2019 round of grants this week, supporting scholarly projects in history, culture and the arts in multiple disciplines across the university. Funded b y a WVU endowment from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation , grants were awarded in four categories:  Fellowship Grants, Collaborative Grants, Pedagogy Innovation Grants and Research Travel Grants.

While several of the grants went to support traditional projects in history, literature, musicology and other humanities fields, applicants were given preference for projects that speak to the Center’s commitment to interdisciplinary, collaborative and public-facing projects.

Humanities Center Affiliate Janet Snyder discusses tragic Notre Dame fire

Notre Dame fire

Dr. Janet Snyder, professor of art history, has devoted a tremendous amount of her research to the art of northern Europe during the Renaissance. Accordingly, the fire that broke out at Notre Dame this week is quite important to her and northern European art, at large. 

Sources for Teaching about Antisemitism

Bale, Anthony. The Jew in the Medieval Book: English Antisemitisms 1350–1500. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Berezin, Mabel. Illiberal Politics in Neoliberal Times: Culture, Security and Populism in the New Europe. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Trash Talk: a reflection on Tim Jelfs's visit

A fact to know about me: I teach and research fashion. To be precise: I research and teach how fashionable dress is made meaningful and how that meaning is enacted on our bodies in everyday life.

Another fact to know about me: I am a child of the 1980s. To be precise: the suburban, white, midwestern version of that era. There is neither pride nor shame in that statement – what could I have done to avoid such a beginning, after all? My relationship with things blossomed during that period, so what does that mean for my outlook and identity?

"Through Clear Water: Reflections on Confluences" by Ann Pancake

Here in West Virginia, it was a summer of water.  I’m a native West Virginian just returned home, so this was only my second summer in the state in 30 years, and I kept saying to my partner, “I sure don’t remember it ever being this rainy those twenty-two summers I lived here as a kid.”  2018 was a summer of near-daily thunder and flash flood upon flash flood, a summer my cousins could only get half their crops in the ground, and a summer Mr. Burke, the farmer who has for fifty years cut the field behind our house in Preston County, still hasn’t had three straight rain-free days to make hay.  Truth is, this WV summer had the kind of water we used to have in the summers in Seattle, the place I just left.  Not anymore.  This July and August I sat on my West Virginia porch in downpours reading texts from my Seattle friends suffering heat and drought and smoke from wildfires all over the West Coast.  “They’re saying that going outside today would be like smoking seven cigarettes.”  “Today the air quality is the same as Beijing.”  “This morning I woke up and there was ash falling from the sky.”      

            Climate change.  Water.  Too little in one place.  Too much in another.  And everywhere, water under threat.