Contested Image by Laura Holzman

Join us May 22nd from 5:30-6:30 at Indy Reads Books to hear Laura M. Holzman discuss her new book, Contested Image!

About Contested Image
Thomas Eakins’s 1875 painting The Gross Clinic, the Rocky statue, and the art collection under the stewardship of the Barnes Foundation are all iconic in Philadelphia for different reasons. But around the year 2000, they emerged as subjects of extended – and heated – controversies about their “appropriate” location. By revisiting these debates, Contested Image demonstrates how public reception transformed prominent elements of Philadelphia’s visual culture. The book’s insights into the public envisioning of place will resonate with readers regardless of where they call home.

About Laura Holzman
Laura M. Holzman is an associate professor of art history and museum studies at Indiana University, IUPUI, where she is also appointed Public Scholar of Curatorial Practices and Visual Art. She holds a PhD and MA in visual studies from the University of California, Irvine, and a BA with highest honors from Swarthmore College. Her work is dedicated to activating art history, its methods, and its related institutions as tools for strengthening communities, expanding democratic discourse, and creating a more reflective society.

May 22 | 5:30-6:30 PM
Indy Reads Books
911 Massachusetts Ave.; Indianapolis, IN

We’ll see you there!

Associate Professor Laura Holzman On How Public Art Can Redefine The Urban Identities Of Our Cities

 

Laura Holzman in her office at Herron School of Art and Design. Herron School of Art and Design

Laura Holzman, associate professor of art history and museum studies and public scholar of curatorial practices and visual art, has just authored her first book, which was eleven years in the making.

Published in April by Temple University Press, “Contested Image: Defining Philadelphia for the Twenty-First Century” investigates how Thomas Eakin’s 1875 painting “The Gross Clinic,” the Rocky statue, and the Barnes Foundation each helped create a new identity for the city of Philadelphia.

We sat down with Holzman to discuss her book, the origins of her research, and what it feels like to finally see it in print. The interview has been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

HERRON: Tell us about your art historical approach for writing the book.

LAURA HOLZMAN: “Contested Image” is about contemporary visual culture, but it’s also about how historical objects from different points in time are contemporary to one another when we look at the roles that they’ve played more recently in regard to Philadelphia’s changing identity. I focus on big debates about where art belongs in the city from approximately 1990 to 2010. But some of the episodes start brewing in the 1980s and others trail into 2012.

I couldn’t have articulated this when I started working on the project, but the mode of art history scholarship that I am really interested in is public scholarship. What that means is doing scholarship that’s meaningful and shareable outside of academia and written in a way that is accessible. It can also mean scholarship that’s generated in collaboration with people outside of a university – that’s the work I do now.

My book looks like very traditional scholarship because it’s a book published by a university press and written by only one person. But my research questions didn’t come from conversations that were happening inside academia; they came directly from conversations that were happening outside in the world. I’d first heard about these issues on the radio and while sitting on the train in Philadelphia, listening to the people around me. People were having really passionate conversations about where art belongs.

Some of these conversations were divisive. They made me wonder, what’s really going on? How can I use my resources as a scholar to interpret this discourse constructively? My professional experience in Philadelphia’s arts and culture sector allowed me to develop a sensitivity to the issues at stake as well as understanding of who the major players are and how these stories unfolded. As I offer my own interpretation of each episode, I also try to honor the voices of the people who participated in these public exchanges about issues they cared very deeply about. I see this book as my way of contributing to those conversations.

HERRON: What’s your connection to Philadelphia?

HOLZMAN: I’ve spent a lot of my life in and around Philadelphia – visiting family, going to college, working with arts and culture organizations. My experiences there shaped how I approached the material in the book.

When I worked at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and so I walked up the Rocky steps almost every day on my way to work. It was hard not to think about the relationship between the Rocky statue and the site of the museum.

I was also working at the museum when Thomas Jefferson University sold “The Gross Clinic.” The university had made a deal with philanthropist and arts patron Alice Walton, who was collecting art for the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The university said, ‘Ok, you guys can buy the painting for $68 million, unless a local institution can match the price.’ Oh, and they told local institutions, ‘You have 45 days to match that enormous price.’ There was a massive fundraising effort and a huge public relations campaign to generate the interest and the dollars to purchase the painting. With support from that campaign, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts jointly purchased the artwork.

I wasn’t thinking about it in an academic way at the time, but I was steeped in the environment of what was going on because of my job as a press relations coordinator. One of my responsibilities was to keep track of all the press clips that were generated about the institution. I’m a curious person, so I read them all. And then I didn’t really think much of it. When I went to graduate school, I revisited the newspaper articles and blogs about the painting. I thought, ‘There’s something going on here that people aren’t talking about’ and that was the hook for me and this research project.

HERRON: Is that what you went to graduate school to study?

HOLZMAN: Not at all. There’s a good story about that, actually. During my first quarter in the interdisciplinary PhD program in visual studies at UC Irvine [University of California, Irvine], I was waiting in the department office and one of the professors walked into the room. I casually mentioned that I’d noticed she would be teaching a seminar on museums, cultural memory, and history. She responded by saying, ‘I’m so glad you’ll be taking it!’ So, I enrolled in the class because I felt I’d made some kind of unintentional verbal commitment to take the course.

For the research project, we could write about anything we wanted that related to the subject of the seminar. I just kept thinking about “The Gross Clinic” and I had to get it out of my system. I wrote the paper and, I’m not kidding, it was the easiest first draft I’ve ever written. It was like the story was writing itself.

HERRON: What kinds of memories did you study during your research?

HOLZMAN: One of the things I noticed from reading all of those press clips and blog posts was that people were making it really personal when they were talking about “The Gross Clinic” and how it belongs in Philadelphia. For example, somebody said that it would be almost like losing a friend if the painting were to leave Philadelphia. There was this very personal language of memory and trauma that resonated with themes we’d examined in the class, so it came together as a really interesting example of memory practices related to museum collection practices.

HERRON: So, how did your short seminar paper turn into a 200-page book?

HOLZMAN: I ended up revising and expanding it fairly substantially for my master’s thesis. I revised and expanded it again for a chapter in my dissertation. Then, I revised and expanded it again for the book. Along the way, I added chapters about other prominent public conversations about where art belongs in Philadelphia, and I learned that the stories of “The Gross Clinic,” the Barnes Collection, and the Rocky statue are deeply intertwined with one another and with Philadelphia’s identity.

When I was trying to figure out what I wanted to write about, my dissertation advisor said, ‘Make sure it’s something you’re really okay with thinking about for ten years.’ I thought, ‘Pshh, ten years.’ The first words that I typed for this research were in 2008. It’s really been eleven years!

HERRON: How does it feel to finally see the book in front of you?

HOLZMAN: When I first held it in my hands I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is really a thing.’ There were definitely times when I thought this was not going to be a thing. Writing is really hard and the process of writing a book is very complicated. Enough of the steps are beyond the author’s control that it can feel like it might never manifest into anything. It is really cool to have this physical evidence that I completed the project.

I’m excited to have the book out in the world. I’ve published segments of the book previously, but now people can know the other parts of the story. It’s also a little bit scary, in part because of the way I’ve been doing scholarship for the past few years, which involves a lot of collaboration with stakeholders along the way. But with this, I’ve put it out in the world and, sure, it’s gone through academic peer review, but somebody might read this book and see their name in it because they gave a quote to a journalist and now it’s in the book. I wonder, is that person going to appreciate the way that I used their language? I hope that they will. I feel the weight of the responsibility of writing about people’s lives.

HERRON: What impact do you hope to make with “Contested Image?” What do you hope readers will take away from the book?

HOLZMAN: I think that people across the country and internationally can learn a lot from looking at my research in the book. We can learn about how people are using visual culture to define the places where they spend time. I also want to contribute to a shift in ways of thinking about which places are valuable for people to study from a distance. For example, you asked me earlier about my connection to Philadelphia. Would you have asked a similar question if this book were about New York?

Since I moved to Indianapolis, I’ve seen a lot of things that remind me of what I know about Philadelphia from the 1990s and the 2000s as the city started to change the way it was talking about itself and as the city started to invest in different areas. Philadelphia has major issues that it’s still working out, so I don’t want to imply that Philadelphia is perfect. But I think there’s a valuable lesson in the ways Philadelphia embraced the arts and culture sector as a major element of its new identity.

Indianapolis would really benefit from following a similar lead and recognizing that the arts and culture are central to making a place a vibrant and rewarding place to live, work, and visit. Arts and culture can look like different things for different people. We benefit from having a variety of those things, but we also benefit from truly embracing the possibilities that they offer.

Read the original story from Herron School of Art + Design

Reading at the Table with Dr. Wendy Vogt

Dr. Wendy Vogt

Reading at the table will be presented by Wendy Vogt. Wendy Vogt, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of anthropology at IUPUI. In 2012, she received her doctorate from the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Her research interests include politically engaged anthropology., migration, transit journeys, violence, political economy, human rights and transnational feminism. She teaches courses on Cultural Anthropology, Race & Ethnicity, Gender & Sexuality, Migration, Ethnographic Methods, Anthropological Theory, Applied Anthropology and International Studies.

Lives in Transit chronicles the dangerous journeys of Central American migrants in transit through Mexico. Drawing on fieldwork in humanitarian aid shelters and other key sites, the book examines the multiple forms of violence that migrants experience as their bodies, labor, and lives become implicated in global and local economies that profit from their mobility as racialized and gendered others. At the same time, it reveals new forms of intimacy, solidarity and activism that have emerged along transit routes over the past decade. Through the stories of migrants, shelter workers and local residents, Vogt encourages us to reimagine transit as both a site of violence and precarity as well as social struggle and resistance.

Please register in advance

Call in reservations are welcome at 317-274-7014

Buffet Lunch: $13
(Desert and soft drinks not included)

Tuesday April 9th, 2019
11:30am-1pm
UniversityClub Rm200
875W.NorthSt.
Indianapolis, IN 46202

Archives fortified by more than 50 years of IUPUI history

University associate archivist Stephen E. Towne checks the contents of one of the hundreds of boxes containing records, memos, photographs and blueprints in the IUPUI archives. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

Nestled in the lower level of University Library, the Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives has been an IUPUI 50th Anniversary hot spot.

With tall ceilings, retractable shelves for optimal space-saving, and a temperature- and humidity-controlled atmosphere, the archives are the go-to for decades-old photographs, data and documentation of early IUPUI planning.

“Our job in the archives is to collect administrative, historical and legal records that have long-term or permanent value for the university,” said Stephen E. Towne, associate university archivist. “We do this for a variety of reasons — one, to know what the university has done in the past and build on the future. Two, people want to study this institution historically, so they come here to do research.”

The collection is always growing, with boxes of letters, memos, reports and blueprints received every year. The latest includes work from Harris Wofford, the former senator and close advisor to Martin Luther King Jr. and President John F. Kennedy.

The Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives has been busy during IUPUI’s 50th-year celebration.

The archives are open to IUPUI faculty, staff and students for research purposes. Just contact the office and get to work in the reading room.

More than 50 years

While IUPUI just celebrated its official 50th birthday on Jan. 24, programs go well before 1969. Records from the IU School of Medicine, the School of Health and Human Sciences, and the School of Nursing have roots reaching back more than 100 years ago.

Records recent and old are stored in boxes, which contain meticulously labeled manila folders. The aisles are organized in broad categories: IUPUI faculty, School of Medicine, and so on. The shelves open at the push of a button or the twist of a wheel.

‘Hine’s Quarters’

Towne said most users of the archives seek old photographs. Early shots of campus, head shots of IUPUI’s founders and images that display IUPUI’s growth are popular. Some photos have amusing stories. An exterior of a small building, for example, could have an amazing story behind it. Take a small office that once stood at 1219 W. Michigan St., near what are now School of Dentistry parking lots.

One of many in the archives, this aisle contains dozens of boxes containing thousands of records, photographs and letters from beyond IUPUI’s 50 years. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

“This is where the first IUPUI chancellor, Maynard Hine, had his offices for a while,” Towne explained. “It was a Curley’s Cleaners, and it had various nicknames — ‘Hine’s Quarters’ and then ‘The Ex-Chancellery’ because Hine occupied this building after he resigned as chancellor.”

Plater’s memos

William Plater, a longtime executive vice chancellor and dean of the faculties, left a lasting impression on IUPUI during his tenure from the 1980s into the 2000s. He transferred his copious records to the archives after his retirement in 2006. Plater’s legacy is still vital in the form of awards and honors. For events and other work, he likes to utilize the archives and reference his writings from 30 years ago.

“We have a wall here, about 300 feet of his stuff, along with his predecessors and successors,” Towne said. “We know what the contents are of these boxes, and we can find files very quickly. Bill Plater will contact us and say something like, ‘I remember a memo I wrote in 1989 about such and such, and I think I wrote it in October.’ Sure enough, we find it, and we send a copy to Bill Plater.”

While IUPUI is only 50 years young, the stories found in the archives are timeless.

University Library to Launch Books on Demand

Informatics and journalism librarian Willie Miller shared the perks of University Library’s program, Books on Demand, set to launch Feb. 5. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

Just like you would your own Spotify playlist, you will soon be able to contribute to building the book collection at University Library for yourself and the IUPUI community.

Starting Feb. 5, the library is handing off the power of ordering books to faculty, staff and students to decide what they want by introducing Books on Demand, the instant library book ordering system. This change in process will not only save money and change the way the library purchases books, but it will also help the IUPUI community by providing a more relevant selection of books to support active research and class papers.

Once the program launches, when a member of the IUPUI community finds a book they want to read, they’ll click the “Get This for IUPUI” button online and choose either the e-book format or the print version. E-books will deliver within two hours of the request, and print books will arrive in a week for fast delivery or two weeks with regular delivery.

“This process will allow us to get the newest research in a variety of fields with a more efficient system,” said Willie Miller, informatics and journalism librarian and resource development liaison. “We’ll have the latest available books, published in nearly every subject area, on our campus and in our catalog in about a month. We’re also excited to be providing books that we know people will definitely use, and probably use more than once.”

If someone wants a book that’s not on the list, the Books on Demand webpage will have a whole section for participants to suggest options. Most of the books will be academic in nature, yet some popular books will also be found.

It’s also possible that a few textbooks could be offered through this service, but depending on what books faculty choose as the required text, not all will be available. The ones that are listed will give students the opportunity to share and reduce costs by checking out the book from the school library instead of paying for it or renting it themselves.

Another solution for when a book isn’t on University Library’s list is using the interlibrary loan system that will still be available. Any book found in libraries around the world can be sent to IUPUI to be borrowed.

Read the original article from IUPUI News’ Ashlynn Neumeyer

5 Tips For Getting Into Grad School

For some of us, graduation means no more grades or homework. For those who can’t get enough of the college experience, it means the cycle is about to start all over again with graduate school.

If you’re going to graduate school and you know it, clap your hands — and give these tips a try.

Students who have questions about graduate school are encouraged to reach out to others for guidance. Indiana University

Research the program
Whether or not you know what you want to study in graduate school, it’s always a good idea to research any program you’re interested in. Find out what the program offers and what’s required to get in. You should also look up the faculty and their interests and strengths. This will help you create your personal statement and cater it specifically to the program you want to enter.

Take the GRE early
Similarly to taking the SAT when you were looking past high school, it’s a good idea to take the GRE your sophomore or junior year in college. That way, if your score is lower than you want, you have time to retake the test. Also, some of your general education classes, such as math and English, help prepare you for the GRE questions, so it’s good to take it when the information is still fresh in your mind. If you missed this mark and are taking the test later, it’s not the end of the world. It only means you have a little less time than people who started earlier.

Write, revise and tailor your personal statement
Your personal statement is not something you should write overnight. You might have several drafts throughout the process, and that’s OK. The more revisiting and revising you do, the more satisfied with the final product you’ll be. This is your chance to showcase your accomplishments and goals and explain why you’re a perfect fit for the program.

Ask for strong letters of recommendation
Making sure to ask the right people for “strong” letters of recommendation is key. Ask people who will promote you and your abilities in an effective way. It’s important to choose people who know how you work, what your accomplishments are and what your future goals are. Specifically requesting a “strong” recommendation letter shows that you’re serious about this program, and it encourages the recommender to put real thought and effort into what they write for you.

Ask for help and pay attention to deadlines
Getting all your materials turned in on time is extremely important. Make sure you know when the deadline is and have everything done a little early. That way, if you have questions about the application process, you’ll have time to ask people who know. Reach out to the admissions staff in your program, and they’ll help you create a successful application. The IUPUI Graduate Office offers workshops on getting into graduate school; see the website for details.

Read the original article from IUPUI News’ Ashlynn Neumeyer 

Reading at the Table with Rosa Tezanos-Pinto

Rosa Tezanos-Pinto, Ph.D., is a highly respected professor, administrator, and internationally renowned researcher in the field of Latin American literature and culture. She has authored and co-authored seven books and over forty-five articles and book chapters. She is the editor of RANLE, Revista de la Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española and Alba de América. In 2012, Dr. Tezanos-Pinto was invited by the renowned Latin American journal Confluencia.

Dr. Tezanos-Pinto will be reading from her book La presencia hispana y el español de los Estados Unidos. In this book, a varied range of distinguished specialists travel through scenarios, documentary sources, linguistic studies, literary and film works, to rescue the substantial Hispanic contributions to culture, education, the development of the sciences and the economic life of the United States, without overlooking a prospective view of the future of Spanish, as the second major language of this country, in the coming decades.

This event will be held on Tuesday, Feruary 12, 2019., from 11:30-1pm at University Club.  875 W. North St., Room 200.

Register now!

Click here for more information on the IUPUI Reading at the Table Series!

The Reiberg Reading Series Presents: A Conversation with Novelists R.O. Kwon and Laura van den Berg

R.O. Kwon is the author of The Incendiaries, published by Riverhead (U.S.) and Virago (U.K.). The Incendiaries is an American Booksellers Association Indie Next #1 Great Read and Indies Introduce selection, and it was named a best book of the year by over forty publications. The novel is a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Award for Best First Book and Northern California Independent Booksellers Association Fiction Prize, and is nominated for the Aspen Prize and American Library Association Carnegie Medal. The Incendiaries is being translated into four languages.

Kwon’s writing has appeared in The Guardian, Vice, BuzzFeed, Noon, The Cut, Time, and elsewhere. She has received awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Yaddo, MacDowell, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Born in South Korea, she has mostly lived in the United States.

Laura van den Berg was born and raised in Florida. She is the author of two collections of stories, The Isle of Youth (FSG, 2013) and What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us (Dzanc Books, 2009), and the novel Find Me (FSG, 2015). Farrar, Straus and Giroux will publish her next novel, The Third Hotel, in August 2018.

Laura’s honors include the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, the Bard Fiction Prize, a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, a Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, an O. Henry Award, and the Jeannette Haien Ballard Writer’s Prize, a $25,000 annual prize given to “a young writer of proven excellence in poetry or prose.” Her debut collection was selected for the Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” program, and she has twice been shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. The Isle of Youth was named a “Best Book of 2013” by over a dozen outlets, including NPR, The Boston Globe, and O, The Oprah Magazine. Find Me was selected as a “Best Book of 2015” by NPR, Time Out New York, and BuzzFeed, and longlisted for the 2016 International Dylan Thomas Prize.

This event is free and open to the public in the Lilly Auditorium of the University Library. Refreshments will also be served. Books for sale provided by Barnes & Noble @ IUPUI.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at 7:30 PM – 10 PM

We’ll see you there!

New Luis Alberto Ambroggio Center for Latino Studies to Serve as Hub for Literature and Research

The Luis Alberto Ambroggio Center for Latino Studies is housed in Room 323 of Cavanaugh Hall and is open to the entire IUPUI community. Photo courtesy of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI

In addition to being a world-renowned poet and essayist, Luis Alberto Ambroggio has been a lifelong collector of Spanish literature and history books, many from well before his time.

It’s a priceless collection. And it now resides at IUPUI.

The Luis Alberto Ambroggio Center for Latino Studies, part of the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, formally opened Nov. 1 in a ceremony at the center, housed in Room 323 of Cavanaugh Hall. Among the distinguished guests were Ambroggio; Garry Holland, education chair for the Greater Indianapolis Branch of the NAACP; Elia James from the Lawrence city government; IUPUI Executive Vice Chancellor Kathy Johnson; and representatives from the Indianapolis mayor’s office, the Lawrence mayor’s office and the office of Rep. André Carson.

“The center is not only for Latino studies; it’s open to anybody, in any major. Students can use the library to continue research,” said Jose Vargas-Vila, director of IUPUI’s Latino Studies program. “In the future, we’ll use it to invite scholars and writers to IUPUI.”

Nearly 2,000 volumes are in the center, covering classic Spanish literature, linguistics, American history and more. The center is in partnership with the North American Academy of the Spanish Language, of which associate professor Rosa Tezanos-Pinto is a full member and editor of the academy’s bulletin.

“Latino studies is a flourishing area of study in the School of Liberal Arts, and the Luis Alberto Ambroggio Center will do a wonderful job of serving students for years to come,” School of Liberal Arts interim dean Robert Rebein said. “To have such a wonderful collection within our walls is a remarkable testament to our school’s programs.”

The connection between Ambroggio and IUPUI was forged by Tezanos-Pinto through annual conferences around the world. Tezanos-Pinto told Ambroggio about the growing Latino Studies program at IUPUI, and an interest and a bond were formed.

“She made the impression, and Ambroggio chose this university — from among several others — to pass on his collection to a place that would be a permanent location,” Vargas-Vila said. “He wanted to donate the books that belonged to him and his parents.”

Some 700 students take classes in Latino studies each year from two full-time and four part-time faculty. Students have had internships with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, with the city of Lawrence and inside the Indiana Statehouse.

Read the original article from IUPUI News’ John Schwarb

Writer Dan Chaon (The 2018 Ray Bradbury Visiting Writer Lecture)

Dan Chaon’s most recent book is Ill Will, a national bestseller, named one of the ten best books of 2017 by Publishers Weekly. His other works include the short story collection Stay Awake (2012), a finalist for the Story Prize; the national bestseller Await Your Reply and Among the Missing, a finalist for the National Book Award. Chaon’s fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize Anthologies, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. He is the recipient of an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Support for the Reiberg Reading Series is provided by the Reiberg family, the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, the IUPUI Department of English and the IUPUI Arts and Humanties Institute.

DATE AND TIME
Thu, October 25, 2018
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM EDT

Get your tickets here!