Christina M. Spiker

Christina M. Spiker

Art Historian | Professor | Digital Humanist

College Art Association 2019

Well, another large national conference has come to a close. I’m amazed at how after only a few days of attendance, you begin to feel like you live at the conference… This year, the College Art Association Conference was in New York, and while exhilarating, it always leaves me a bit tired. It makes me feel my age in comparison to being young and living in Tokyo! (And New York, why do you have to be so expensive?!)

All of us waiting for the panel to begin!

I presented a paper this year on a panel titled Coloring Print: Reproducing Race through Material, Process, and Language sponsored by the Association of Print Scholars. Our panel was chaired by Christina Michelon, who did an amazing job. The panel featured papers by Annika Johnson, Melanee Howard, Holly Shaffer, and myself. Some of the themes that stood out to me across the whole panel were: preservation/salvage, fragmentation, print circulation’s role in shaping memory (during life and after death), repetition in reproduction, romantic ideals, systems of print and circulation, genealogies of images, the construction of story/myth, and the role of imagination. In addition, I can’t help but smile inside at this photograph of us all —5 female scholars—getting ready to talk about topics crucial to our research. I find it fairly rare in my sub field (usually, my co-presenters are male), so I couldn’t help but take notice of the image.

It is REALLY hard to look good in a photograph taken mid-presentation! But thank you to Steve Burges for taking this one 😉

I also attended some really great Japan-related panels during the conference including Race and Modern and Contemporary Japanese Visual Culture (sponsored by JAHF with presentations by Sabine Fruhstuck, Chinghsin Wu, Ayelet Zohar, and Jennifer Robertson); Dirt, Mud, Sand, Sludge (that had a presentation by my dissertation advisor, Bert Winther-Tamaki), and Asian Diasporic Art and the Narrative of Modernism (sponsored by Diasporic Asian Art Network with papers by Tom Wolf, Margo L. Machida, and SooJin Lee). I also got a chance to attend some panels related to #digitalhumanities and #digitalarthistory. Attending conferences is a humbling reminder of how much I have yet to learn. But it was great to see old friends and connect with new ones!

Now that CAA 2019 is over, I need to turn my full energy towards this exhibition that I am curating set to open on April 13th. I’m not sure how I will do what needs to be done between now and then, but I’m excited to see the whole project come together.

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