In the Foreground: Conversations on Art & Writing

What does it mean to make art history? Today more than ever, we must consider the role of art in society, how knowledge is shared (or obscured), and the way histories are made—and unmade. In the Foreground: Conversations on Art & Writing asks these questions, while also considering the personal stakes of scholarship. Each episode offers a lively, in-depth look into the life and mind of a scholar or artist working with art historical or visual material. Discussions touch on guests’ current research projects, career paths, and significant texts, mentors, and experiences that have shaped their thinking. We invite you to join us in and listen in on these conversations about the stakes of doing art history today. 


In the Foreground is available on iTunesSpotify, and anywhere else you may listen to podcasts.

August 25: “The Nature of All Our Forms”: María Magdalena Campos-Pons on Performance Art

September 1: “Surfaces of Projection”: Dell M. Hamilton on Performance Art and Black Embodiment

September 8: “An Archive of Exchange”: C. Ondine Chavoya on Chicanx and Latinx Art History

September 15: “To Speak Across Time”: Gabriele Finaldi on Museums

September 29: “An Embodiment of Experience”: Steven Nelson on African Art and Writing History 

October 6: “A Set of Ways of Engaging”: Lisa Lee on Thomas Hirschhorn & Materiality

October 13: “An Art History Yet to Come”: Kirsten Scheid on Palestinian Art 

October 20: “Looking as Knowing”: Svetlana Alpers on Critical Thinking and Photography

October 27“Refusal of Personality”: Brigid Doherty on Rosemarie Trockel and Rorschach

November 10: “Can You Show Thinking?”: Mieke Bal on Film & Writing 

November 17: Philosophical Grounding”: Michael Ann Holly on Creating Visual Studies 


February 9: “How to Look with Soft Eyes”: Darby English on Description as Method

February 16: “Unpacking My Identity”: Genevieve Gaignard on Race in America and the Impossibility of Home

February 23: “A Gesture of Reciprocity”: Souleymane Bachir Diagne on Translation and Restitution

March 2: “A Database is an Argument”: Anne Helmreich on Digital Humanities and Art History

April 13: “Moving Across the Threshold”: Alisa LaGamma on Curating the Arts of Africa

April 20: “One’s Own Bifurcations”: Lorraine O’Grady on Both/And Thinking in Art

April 27: “Where the Impossible is Possible”: Saundra Weddle and Lisa Pon on Collaboration and Renaissance Studies

May 4: “‘Others’ of Various Kinds”: J. Vanessa Lyon on Intersectionality as an Early Modern Scholar


October 12, 2021 “What Sort of Problems Does an Artwork Pose?”: Joan Kee on Art History as an Infinite Game

October 19, 2021: “Becoming Belonged”: Roberto Tejada on the Political Project of Photography and Poetry

November 16, 2021: “To Approach the Object from Outside”: Joseph Koerner on History, Trauma, and Wonder  

November 30, 2021: “Grounded by a Set of Relations”: Nancy Um on “Horizontal” Cultures within Art History