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Feminist Art Collectives in New York: An Anthropological Perspective


December 14, 2010

Aseel Sawalha, researcher in residence at The New York Public Library's Wertheim Study and Associate Professor of Anthropology at Fordham University, will present an illustrated lecture:  Feminist Art Collectives in New York: An Anthropological Perspective.

Sawalha examines New York feminist art of the 1970s and 80s from the perspective of anthropology. This talk focuses on two women's arts collectives: The New York Feminist Art Institute and Heresies (both a school and a magazine). Based on archival research, interviews with artists, and resources of The New York Public Library, the talk highlights the ways these collectives were influenced in three directions: social movements (civil rights, women's liberation, and anti-war); the art world; and the economy (late industrial capitalism and early globalization). How did the ideals of these collectives collide with the mundane, day-to-day workings of running an organization? This talk explores the tensions of women's alternative arts groups in a turbulent era.

Aseel Sawalha is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Fordham University. Her Middle East ethnography, Reconstructing Beirut, was recently published by University of Texas Press, and she is now conducting fieldwork on New York and Middle East women artists.

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