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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).

2020 Mark Roskill Symposium

Reduction, Regeneration, Restoration: Art as Agent in the Age of Climate Crisis

Saturday, October 3, 2020
University of Massachusetts Amherst Platform: Zoom

Michael Singer will be presenting his keynote address, “Michael Singer: Regenerative Design in the Public Realm”. Michael Singer’s work has been instrumental in transforming public art, architecture, landscape, and planning projects into successful models for urban and ecological renewal. These works provide elements that foster new growth and life, retain and cleanse water, and are respectful of site, culture, and history.

Following the keynote address by Mr. Singer, participants will be invited to engage in roundtable discussions held via Zoom breakout rooms on each of the three points of the symposium, covering Reduction, Regeneration, and Restoration, respectively. Facilitated by discussion leaders, these breakout sessions will be an opportunity for participants to discuss these themes in depth.

Previous Themes & Keynote Speakers


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

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Orianna Cacchione, Curator of Global Contemporary Art at the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum


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