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Faculty Research Fields

Power, Difference, and Gender
Faculty: Baskins, Kaminishi, McClellan, Melius, Overbey, Probst, Zavala

From patronage over primitivism to contemporary postcolonial discourses — power relations have informed artistic productions from the very beginning. The same applies for the writing of art history. When art history emerged as an academic discipline in Euro-America during the 19th and early 20th century art was considered to be a domain of the West. Artistic productions in other cultural spaces were either simply excluded from (Western) art history or put into the residual category of "World Art." With the end of colonialism and the postcolonial probing into questions of power and representation this model has effectively come to an end. What are the effects of this change with respect to the chronology and temporal categories by which art history has come to structure and define its object? How to understand the role of the "other" in the realm of visual culture? Why have museums increasingly become sites of struggles over cultural property?

Current faculty research projects include: Gender in early Modern Italy (Baskins); collection history and the issue of restitution (McClellan); Picasso and gender; homoeroticism and the visual arts (Melius); contemporaneity in African art history (Probst); the representation of Africans in Mexican visual culture (Zavala)