Art History Symposium

Students present research at new event. by Julissa Treviño ’10 with Maura Stephens

Black identity in visual culture, sustainable architecture and design, and gender ideology in German Dadaist art were among the topics presented in April by graduating seniors at the first Art History Senior Symposium.

The art history department faculty instituted the symposium to allow invited students to share their research and to experience presenting as they might at a professional conference. One presenter, Alden Hall ’09, shortened her honors thesis from more than 50 pages to a five-minute presentation about sustainable architecture and design, focusing on Ithaca College’s Park Center for Business and Sustainable Enterprise. Hall says her participation in the symposium was beneficial to her self-confidence in presenting material — an outcome the faculty had hoped for. “I definitely learned that I can give presentations,” she says. “I found that it was easier than I thought it was going to be to get up and talk [about my research].”

Stephen Clancy, art history professor and department chair, was impressed with the students’ presentations. “They were well prepared and delivered, and very thoughtful,” says Clancy. Sarah Russell ’11 found the presentations helpful as she thinks about developing and presenting her own research on art history when she’s a senior.

The faculty plans to open up the symposium to a larger number of eligible art history seniors in coming years. “It’s a great opportunity to create a community centered on ideas and explorations of art and architectural history,” says Clancy, “and to showcase those ideas and explorations.”