Newsletter Spring 2014

From The Other Side – Dissertation Prize

By Emily Lauren Putnam, 2014 IDSVA Graduate

There are few experiences that can compare to writing a PhD dissertation. Even the three years of course work and preparation for the qualifications cannot match the depth and scope of research and writing necessary to successfully complete this project. For me, spending two years fully immersed in the process felt daunting and even overwhelming at times. Rarely did I find myself not thinking, reading, or writing about some aspect of the dissertation as I explored various ideas and potential research avenues.

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Summer 2014 Visiting Faculty

What can be found in common between a Cinta Senese piglet, a Lorenzetti painting, a feudal-agrarian social order and T.E. Lawrence? The short answer would be: they are all points in the trajectory that forms a narrative in the history of ideas, situated at the core of the Topological Studies Program at IDSVA. The long answer is what students at IDSVA find through their participation in this unique unmediated educational experience, which takes them from place to place over a period of several weeks: Rome, Spannocchia, Siena, Florence, Berlin, Paris, Istanbul.

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Greeting From Incoming Faculty Dr. Christopher Yates

by Dr. Christopher Yates

I became aware of IDSVA in 2011 when I had the pleasure of traveling to New York City to meet with George Smith and others involved in the program. At the time I had recently completed my dissertation and larger doctoral work in philosophy at Boston College, focusing on the phenomenological tradition in European thought and its relevance for aesthetics. I had come to Boston after first completing a Masters degree in theological studies in Vancouver, British Columbia, then a Masters in philosophy at the University of Memphis (sometimes life has a way of moving us around).

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IDSVA At College Art Association Conference

By Michelle Renee Perkins, Cohort '13

This year’s annual College Art Association (CAA) conference was held in Chicago, my current hometown. As a faculty member in a community college setting (Malcolm X College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago), the CAA conference is one of the few chances I have to interact with peers in higher education. I always believed that this conference offers a wide range of opportunities to engage in research activities along with time to network and interact with colleagues within my discipline. 

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Symposium At Christie’s: Mapping The Global Art Economy

By Jennifer Ford, Cohort '11

My area of research for my doctoral dissertation is the reciprocal relationship between art and the economic conditions under which they were created. Specifically I will trace the theme of Danae through its multiple appearances and how the golden shower reflects the monetary theories of their times. I have always been interested in this line of thinking because I have worked in many different roles in the art world from museums, to galleries, to artist studios.

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Studio Museum In Harlem, New York

By Louise Carrie Wales, Cohort '14

Among the unexpected joys of our week in New York, beyond the inter-personal connections we formed, was our visit to the Studio Museum in Harlem – a place I had heard a great deal about, but had never visited despite the easy access from the subway. We were greeted in the lobby by the director of education who graciously gave us an overview of not only their mission and history, but also a synopsis of the current exhibitions and the artists whom we were about to enjoy.

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New York Residency 2014: MoMA PS1

By Dawn H. Tritch, Cohort '12

Our recent visit to MoMA PS1 was a first for me. Located in a formerly abandoned Romanesque Revival public school building, it seemed outwardly to be an unlikely spot for the most modern of artists founded by Alanna Heiss in 1971. I was unsure what the PS 1 stands for—was it Public School 1, Postal Script 1 to the MoMA or what? Unfortunately their website doesn’t reveal such secrets.

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Interview With Student Taliesin Thomas

What brought you to wanting to get your PhD?

Ever since I was a teenager I had the dream of doing a PhD. It always seemed like an impressive challenge for the chosen few. For more than a decade I “shopped around” to get a sense of doctorate programs offered in the US and abroad. There are a lot of options, depending on one’s intellectual inclination and stage of life. I was thrilled to discover the IDSVA model, which initially struck me as slightly non-conformist yet intellectually sincere. It has thus lived up to its promise.

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