SCAH Annual CAA Panel

As an affiliate society of the College Art Association (CAA), SCAH organizes a standing panel at the CAA annual conference. SCAH’s participation in the 109th conference included a panel, business meeting, and workshop.

SCAH’s Executive Board decided to retract our panel from the official proceedings of 110th annual CAA conference after our request to offer it free and open to the public was denied. See our Open Letter to CAA and the details about our un-CAA panel.

un-CAA panel: Fighting Back to Reclaim Institutions
Thursday, Mar 3, 3:15 PM EST via Zoom

Over the past decade, layers of capitalist exploitation have continued to shape the ethos of the contemporary art-industrial complex, perpetuating its economic and racial inequities; nonetheless, artists and other art workers have been fighting back with increasing coordination and success. Key moments in these struggles have been the founding of Black Lives Matter and Decolonize this Place; more recently, the coronavirus pandemic outbreak and the viral video of George Floyd’s murder have further precipitated the urgent need to effect more ethical, sustainable communities. While institutional leaders’ responses to financial uncertainty and social unrest have been mixed, often prioritizing profit over equity in academia, museums, and other art organizations, art workers have mobilized in remarkable ways, comparable to the civil rights era. For instance, recent years have seen important revisions and a rethinking of museums’ purpose as well as a heightened sense of accountability to diverse publics. Thus, there have been calls for the resignation of leadership and board members, staff unionization, discrimination lawsuits, and artists removing their works from display in acts of solidarity.  
The Society of Contemporary Art Historians’ un-CAA panel brings together Nic Aziz (New Orleans Museum of Art), Tatiana Flores (Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey), Pablo Helguera (New School; formerly Museum of Modern Art, NYC), and Christine Y. Kim (Tate Modern) to reflect on recent dynamics and share their experiences navigating our present neoliberal waters through different channels, in order to explore the field’s systemic crises alongside viable, collectivist modes of resistance, such as distributed self-organizing, resource sharing, and mutual-aid networks. 

This panel is organized by Anna Mecugni (University of New Orleans) and John A. Tyson (University of Massachusetts - Boston).   

Previous SCAH Panels at CAA:
Agitators and Aggregators: New Cycles of Contemporary Art History (Rose G. Salseda, Andy Campbell, Johanna Gosse, and Jacqueline Francis)

The Status and Stakes of Contemporary Art History Publishing Today (Susan Bielstein, Dushko Petrovich, Rebecca Uchill, Anuradha Vikram, and Benjamin Tiven)

2019 What is Contemporary Art History, Now? 10 Years of SCAH (Pamela M. Lee, Tobias Wofford, Daniel Quiles, Suzanne Hudson, Alexander Dumbadze)

2018 Sites of Micro-Community (Roberto Tejada, Jennifer Doyle, Saloni Mathur, Susanna Newbury)

2017 Contemporary Art History: Temporal Frames and Geographic Terrains (Steven Nelson, David Joselit, Irene V. Small, Anneka Lenssen)

2016 Exhibition History as Contemporary Art History (Lynne Cooke, Glenn Phillips, Julian Myers-Szupinska)

2015 Histories and Economies of Contemporary Art (Rhea Anastas, Katy Siegel, Howard Singerman, Nato Thompson)

2014 Identity Politics: Then and Now (Hamza Walker, Gregg Bordowitz, Joan Kee, Dieter Roelstraete)

2013 The Social, the Relational, and the Participatory: A Reevaluation (Martha Rosler, Anton Vidokle, Shannon Jackson, Julia Robinson)

2012 Digging Where You Stand (Kellie Jones, Michelle Kuo, Frank Smigiel)

2011 Critical Histories (Barbara Rose, Diedrich Diedrichsen, Thomas Crow)

2010 Contemporary Art History in 2020 (Hannah Feldman, Amelia Jones, Robert Storr)

2009 What is Contemporary Art History? (Grant Kester, Pam Lee, Richard Meyer, and Miwon Kwon)