Perspectives on Russia
Julie Fairbanks, Associate Professor of Anthropology
September 7 & 14
The war in Ukraine has been front-page news, with the story from inside that country accessible to outside observers. But what about perspectives from within Russia, and how are neighboring countries experiencing this war? This two-week forum presented by Associate Professor of Anthropology Julie Fairbanks explores the conflict from the perspectives of people living in the Caucasus region. The Caucasus region offers a unique vantage point from which to consider the war. Named for the mountain range that runs across it, this region is located on the southern borders of both Russia and Ukraine. Some of the Caucasus lies within Russia, in close enough proximity to the conflict to feel its direct effects. The independent countries of Georgia and Armenia, also part of the Caucasus region, have become destinations for people leaving both Russia and Ukraine. The presence of these newcomers is changing the economic and social landscape in both countries. The first session in this forum will provide an overview of the demographic, economic, and political realities in the part of the Caucasus that is situated on Russian territory. Because of its economic circumstances, the region is exporting many young men to work as contract soldiers or draftees. The Caucasus is also home to many individuals who oppose the war, highlighting another dimension of the current situation within Russia. In the second session, we will focus on Armenia and Georgia, which have attracted both Russians fleeing suppression or conscription as well as Ukrainian refugees.
Women in American Art
Ranelle Knight-Lueth, Assistant Professor of Art History
September 21 & 28
Many people can list the names of a few American women artists but most do not know the influential women behind the scenes who built much of the United States’ artistic scene. This two-week forum presented by Assistant Professor of Art History Ranelle Knight-Lueth tells the stories of influential American women artists and the equally notable women art historians, collectors, critics, museum founders, educators, and patrons who supported and promoted their work. In this series, we will travel across time from the colonial era through the present day to encounter the artwork and the historical conditions that influenced women artists and their advocates. Week one will take us from early America through the nineteenth century, periods when property laws limited women from purchasing or donating art, academies were less open to women artists, and women's organizations and clubs supported artistic production. The second session will focus on women’s roles with world fairs, the development of major museums, and the rise of art history and criticism from the late nineteenth century onward. Throughout, we will meet intriguing figures, delight in exquisite art, and examine how women overcame substantial obstacles to play a major, though often unrecognized, role in the emergence and growth of an American artistic tradition.