What Can Museums Become? — 2020 Obermann Humanities Symposium

Thursday, March 5, 2020 (All day) to Saturday, March 7, 2020 (All day)

Museums have never been mere containers for objects, nor should they be. How might we draw strength from existing institutions to enable vibrant futures? How can we expand the communities who feel a sense of belonging within and around museums? What must we confront and transform to make this possible? Join the artists, curators, historians, educators, and thinkers who are asking, "What Can Museums Become?"

Keynote speakers include Johanna Burton, Director of the Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University; Amelia Jones, Robert A. Day Professor and Vice Dean of Research, Roski School of Art and Design at the University of Southern California; and Michelle Kuo, Marlene Hess Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art.

Visiting roundtable scholars include LaTanya S. Autry, Curator of Art and Civil Rights, Mississippi Museum of Art; Juliet Bellow, Associate Professor of Art History, American University; Lane Czaplinski, Director of Performing Arts, Wexner Center, The Ohio State University; Anaïs Duplan, Program Manager at Recess and founder of Center for Afrofuturist Studies; and Lisa Yun Lee, Director, National Public Housing Museum; Associate Professor of Public Culture and Museum Studies, University of Illinois-Chicago.

View the complete schedule, speaker bios, and related courses and events: uimuseumsymposium.com

This symposium is co-directed by Jennifer Buckley (English, CLAS) and Joyce Tsai (School of Art and Art History; UI Stanley Museum of Art). It is hosted by the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, with support from the UI Stanley Museum of Art and the Department of English. 

Headshot of Jen Buckley
Co-director , University of Iowa , English
Jennifer Buckley is an assistant professor in English and Rhetoric. She teaches, researches, and writes about modern drama, theater, and performance in Europe, the UK, and the U.S., as well as about modernist print cultures. Her current research investigates the complex relationship between text and performance in the twentieth century avant-gardes.
Headshot of Joyce Tsai
Co-director , University of Iowa , Stanley Museum of Art; School of Art & Art History
Tsai is Associate Professor of Practice in the School of Art and Art History and Chief Curator at the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art, and Director of the Intermedia Research Initiative. Her curatorial, pedagogical, and scholarly work engage questions of technology, politics, philosophy in modern and contemporary art. Her book, László Moholy-Nagy: Painting after Photography, is winner of the Phillips Collection Book Prize.  Photo credit: Mei-Ling Shaw