The University of Massachusetts Amherst
HFA - College of Humanities & Fine Arts view HFA submenu

Mark Roskill Graduate Symposium

The Mark Roskill Symposium in Art History is an interdisciplinary symposium organized annually by the graduate students in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture.  Named in honor of Mark Roskill (1933-2000), Roskill was an art historian and scholar of art historiography and criticism who taught at the University of Massachusetts Amherst for over 30 years. Educated at Harvard and Princeton Universities, he began as a specialist in the Italian Renaissance, but continued throughout his career to write widely on then-emerging fields, including photography, English painting, and Cubism.  Among his numerous publications is an influential methodological text, What is Art History? (1976).

2019 Mark Roskill Symposium

The Allure of the Global: Contemporary Curating as a De-Centering Practice

Saturday, October 5, 2019 10:00-11:30 AM
Great Hall, Old Chapel, UMass Amherst campus

The 20th annual Mark Roskill Symposium reflected on the state of art research and display practices in institutions of the modern globalizing world. The keynote talk was given by Orianna Cacchione, Curator of Global Contemporary Art at the University of Chicago's Smart Museum of Art. This was followed by a discussion between Dr. Cacchione and three panelists, all alumnae of UMass' Department of the History of Art and Architecture: Jennifer Atkinson, Director of Collections Management at the Harvard Art Museums; Yael Rice, Assistant Professor of the History of Art and Asian Languages and Civilizations at Amherst College; and Hyewon Yi, Director and Curator of the Amelie A. Wallace Gallery at SUNY Old Westbury.

The Symposium coincided with celebrations in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Department of History of Art and Architecture's MA program. After the Symposium, the speakers, current graduate students and faculty, and returning alumni took part in roundtable discussions centered on arts careers, tours of the Department's new home in South College, and a concluding cocktail reception.

This year's symposium would not have been possible without the support of the Department of History of Art and Architecture, the UMass Arts Council, and our generous speakers.



Previous Themes & Keynote Speakers


Artificial Selections: Art, Natural History and the Taxonomy of the Museum

Keynote Speaker: Elisa Kim, Assistant Professor of Architecture and History, Smith College


Strength, Unity, Power: Contemporary Practices in Native Arts

Keynote Speaker: Wendy Red Star, Contemporary Artist


Actively Historic: The House Museum in the 21st Century

Keynote Speaker: Frank Vagnone, co-author of Anarchist's Guide to House Museums 


Plugged In: Art in the Digital Age

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Anne Umland, Museum of Modern Art, New York


In the City: Identity and Urban Spaces

Keynote Speaker: Carmenita Higginbotham, University of Virginia