VSRI Events

VSRI Seminar Series MDA 599: Material Evidence

SOS 250

USC Professor of Art History AMY OGATA, leads a seminar of interdisciplinary cutting-edge research discussions, based on pre-circulated readings. The seminar is open to unenrolled attendees, with guests:

Daniela Bleichmar, USC, Early Modern Spanish Colonial Evidence (March 25)
Lynn Swartz Dodd, USC, Archaeological Evidence (January 28)
Ruth E. Iskin, Ben Gurion University, on Nineteenth-Century Posters (February 18)
Ann-Sophie Lehmann, Universiteit Utrecht, on Materiality and Crime (January 21)
Debora L. Silverman,UCLA, on Belgian Colonial Culture (March 11)
Willa Z. Silverman, Pennsylvania State, Luxury Books (February 25)
Allison Stielau, Getty Pre-Doc and Yale, Early Modern Metalwork (April 8)
Justin H. Underhill, USC, Digital Materiality (April 15)
Ann Marie Yasin, USC, Late Antiquity and Material Evidence (February 4)

For more information, please visit the course website:http://materialevidence.vsri.org/ 
To RSVP and receive access to readings and the course syllabus, please email: VSRI@USC.EDU 


Ending AIDS?: The Racial and Gender Politics of a Pandemic

Thursday, April 23
SCI 106

How can a pandemic be cured? What can activism do that pills won’t? Panelists will address AIDS activism during the U.S. “crisis” and correlations with present-day social movements. Alexandra Juhasz will discuss her video artistry and activism since the earlier years of AIDS, including her collaborations with incarcerated women, and her feminist pedagogical approaches to media practice. Kenyon Farrow will address his involvement in AIDS activism and policy change, including efforts to prevent pharmaceutical companies from exploiting drug trial processes, filing the United Nations petition to charge the United States with genocide, and the connections with social movements such as #BlackLivesMatter.

Dr. Alexandra Juhasz
Professor of Media Studies and Director of the Center for Social Inquiry, Pitzer College

Kenyon Farrow
U.S. and Global Health Policy Director for the Treatment Action Group and former Executive Director of Queers for Economic Justice

Co-sponsored by the USC Department of American Studies and Ethnicity, the USC Center for Feminist Research, the Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study, the Visual Studies Research Institute, the School of Social Work, and the Media Arts + Practice Division of the School of Cinematic Arts

Image: Hazel Larsen Archer, Elizabeth Jennerjahn and Robert Rauschenberg in Merce Cunningham's dance class 

Contempoary Seminar Series: "Bipedal Modernity" 

Judith Rodenbeck
Assistant Professor, Media and Cultural Studies, UC Riverside
Friday, April 17

Graduate Fine Arts Building
                                Please RSVP to VSRI@USC.EDU


This talk takes as its starting point a short text by the philosopher Giorgio Agamben, who locates the first fully scientific physiological description of the mechanics of walking alongside the chronophotography of Etienne-Jules Marey, the incipience of Taylorization, and the disappearance of walking as an everyday practice. Folding the history of the late 19th century onto the 21st, the talk surveys the mood and politics of today’s proliferation of artists’ walking projects as well as of developments in robotics of both “walking” and “feeling” machines. 

Visual Studies Research Institue Annual Conference: Material Evidence 

April 30-May 1

Co-Sponosored by the Academy for Polymathic Study



This conference examines the question of material evidence and the ways that it intersects with, opposes, and/or redefines visual knowledge. Scholars will address how the technical examination of objects and the use of both new and old tools—from microscopy, chemistry, and photo enlargement to digital manipulation—have rendered new knowledge.

Please RSVP to VSRI@USC.EDU for access to the pre-circulated conference papers. 

For more information, please visit the conference website: http://materialevidenceconference.vsri.org/

USC-LACMA History of Photography Series: "A Matter of Memory: Photography and Objecthood into the Digital Age"

Tuesday, May 5
University Club, Scriptorium 



Lisa Hostetler
, Curator-in-Charge, Department of Photography, George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film

Comment: Suzanne Hudson, Assistant Professor of Art History and Fine Arts, USC

It is now an axiomatic truth that technological advances have made the photographic print increasingly rare outside of the art world. This paper examines how a number of prominent contemporary artists have explored photography's changing relationship to personal and collective history. If memory is inextricably intertwined with photographic images, as many scholars have argued, how will the absence of a photographic artifact change the way in which we see, discover, and interpret the past? Some artists seem to dig deep into the materiality of photography as though searching for the locus of memory, while others incorporate found and vernacular photography into their work in a variety of ways. Such works highlight the presence of the photographic object, meditating on the shifting photographic landscape. The presentation will analyze this trend within contemporary art photography, and suggest potential interpretations and possible avenues of theoretical inquiry.

Past Events


 The Art of Controversy
A conversation with Victor Navasky
and Jon Wiener

Thursday, September 12



The Rise and Fall of Cartoon Physics
Scott Bukatman, Professor of Art & Art History, Stanford University

Thursday, October 3

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