The UCF School of Visual Arts was awarded a grant from the Endeavor Foundation with the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U). This grant was given to a total of 22 universities recognized for their integration of civic learning and democratic engagement within their current course offerings. Keri Watson, assistant professor of art history, applied for these mini-grants with hopes to advance the art history department by enriching the overall curriculum and to further integrate civic engagement.
Currently, SVAD offers 25 art history courses on western and non-western art from ancient to contemporary periods. The mini-grant from the Endeavor Foundation will allow three of SVAD’s art historians (Margaret Ann Zaho, Ilenia Colón Mendoza and Watson) to incorporate civic engagement into the courses offered and modify course and student learning objectives and outcomes. In addition, they plan to design a capstone experience where students can expect to reflect on the role art plays in society and the connection between art history and public engagement.
“The of American Colleges and Universities Endeavor Foundation grant gives the art history faculty a unique opportunity to have dedicated time to further integrate civic engagement into each of our courses and overall curriculum,” says Colón Mendoza. “Art history is often misunderstood as a discipline that is passive and disconnected from social responsibility. The grant sponsored lecture series will show connections between art and activism so students can reflect on the role of art in society and the relationship between art history and public engagement.”
In addition to the course revisions, there will be a lecture series addressing Art and Activism, Feminism Art and the Guerrilla Girls, and Art as an Endangered Species. Details follow:
- Keri Watson will host Art and Activism on Friday, Sept. 7. “This lecture explores the ways in which art de/constructs normalized sexist, ablest, and racist representations and spaces, challenges neoliberal hegemony, and offers techniques for an expanded and inclusive worldview.”
- Ilenia Colón Mendoza will host Feminism and the Guerrilla Girls on Friday, Sept. 21. “This lecture will discuss how the work of the Guerrilla Girls can be used to inspire feminist activism and civic engagement at a local level. Students will be able to take a feminist pledge and get their Guerilla on!”
- Margaret Ann Zaho will host Art as an Endangered Species on Friday, Oct. 5. “This lecture discusses issues of cultural patrimony and hegemony and the historical susceptibility of art to loss due to war, terrorism, and neglect.”
Each of these lectures will be held in VAB 117 from noon – 1 p.m.
Please RSVP to attend.