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Fluid Exchanges: Intergenerational Navigation of Ways of Knowing in the Arts

November 12, 2010

11:00 am – 12:15 pm

The Feminist Art Project presents:

Fluid Exchanges: Intergenerational Navigation of Ways of Knowing in the Arts at The National Women Studies Association conference. This roundtable session is scheduled for Friday, November 12, 11:00 am-12:15 pm; Sheraton Hotel, Denver, Colorado.

This roundtable investigates spaces and strategies for critical and creative engagement across generational divides within feminist teaching, research, and activism in the visual arts. Women’s studies practitioners in the arts must navigate sea changes contoured by generations of feminist praxis, including curatorial and critical practices, objects and methods of art historical and visual culture scholarship and teaching, studio (and post-studio) research and education, terms of community engagement for artists and activists, and ways in which audiences encounter the arts locally and globally.  Intergenerational dialogues, often difficult, give voice to multiple formulations of knowledge crucial for feminist engagement with the creative.

Transformations in the fields of art and visual culture have been shaped in part by women’s studies and feminist praxis within and outside the academy. For practitioners of women’s studies at the intersection of critical theory, practice, and activism in the arts, meaningful engagement with these changes requires working across generations. We regard the challenge of intergenerational dialogue as insistent and persistent; this roundtable also illuminates the conference subtheme of women’s studies’ engagement with the creative as it pursues the consonance and dissonance of working across generations in this arena.

At the juncture of theory and praxis, this roundtable invokes contemporary feminist art theory and criticism, critical race theory, women’s studies and ethnic studies pedagogical frameworks, and ways that these variously inform community engagement and activism in the arts. Roundtable speakers – ourselves multigenerational – combine experience as artists, scholars, educators, curators, and activists. Our work includes projects that intentionally convened several generations of practitioners whose contributions were informed by their varying perspectives.

This roundtable offers examples of pedagogical, curatorial, research, and activist strategies that foster intergenerational dialogue and complicate traditional hierarchies of power. We wish to move beyond discussions of invisibility and silences; we also do not intend simply to pay homage to members of the older generation or to minimize the contributions of newer participants in this work. This roundtable will be structured as a directed conversation that examines challenges in working across generational divisions and innovative ways in which these turbulent waters have been successfully navigated through collaboration, mentorship, and difficult dialogues.

Participants: Melanie Herzog, Moderator; Jillian Hernandez, Susan Messer, Ferris Olin, Jennifer Vigil.


The Institute for Women and Art welcomes all visitors with disabilities. Please contact the IWA for further details and information regarding accommodation of specific needs at: or 732-932-3726.


November 12, 2010
Event Category:


Sheraton Hotel – Downtown Denver
1550 Court Place
Denver, CO 80202 United States