History of Art and Architecture Department
Gülru Çakmak, Walter B. Denny, Sonja Drimmer, Laetitia La Follette, Ximena Gómez, Christine Ho, Karen Kurczynski, Nancy Noble, Timothy Rohan, Monika Schmitter, Margaret Vickery
February 8, 2021
In light of the recent violent and inhumane deaths of unarmed Black citizens at the hands of police and in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives, the History of Art and Architecture Department commit ourselves to the crucial task of anti-racism education as a key part of our engagement with the local, regional, national, international, scholarly, and creative communities in which we take part. We are embarking, with the help of our students and the larger campus community and in solidarity with the global struggles of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, on a profound exploration of the colonial roots of our discipline and exploring new possibilities for anti-racist pedagogy. This work builds on the already active efforts we have taken individually in our teaching, service, and scholarship to counteract the legacies of colonialism and foster a greater understanding of how racialized and minoritized experiences have shaped our knowledge of art and architectural history. We are taking concrete steps to support BIPOC students, including the development of a new Graduate Diversity Fellowship, and strengthening our ties with BIPOC scholars and all scholars whose work examines and promotes racial justice in an intersectional framework. Our efforts expand upon the work of critical historiography in our field that has already begun internationally. They go hand in hand with our ongoing work to enhance our mentoring of students of color, students traditionally underrepresented in the academy, and first-generation college students at all levels. This statement is not an end but a beginning. It signals our deep commitment to acknowledging the radically diverse experiences and expertise of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and their crucial contributions to creative production in both historical and modern times. We hereby pledge to make our department a space for informed and compassionate discussion in the interest of progressive social change.
● We will reflect on our own teaching practices and scholarship. We will interweave critical historiography — the formation of our knowledge in relation to histories of racialization and/or colonialism — into all of our syllabi.
● We will examine and reflect on our interactions with staff, students, and colleagues to examine social biases, microaggressions, and exclusionary practices.
● We will work to include issues of relevance to the representation of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color as well as works produced by or for BIPOC communities in all historical periods and geographical areas of art and visual culture.
● We will invite outside speakers of color and specialists on racial justice in our fields of specialization (or other areas such as activism, pedagogy, etc.) to hold workshops for faculty and students on teaching race, diversity, and equity.
● We will actively recruit and provide mentoring for BIPOC students and other historically underrepresented students including first-generation college students.