Introducing Feminist Art History brings together the landmark introductory essays and prefaces written by Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard for their five co-edited volumes on feminism and art history (1982–2005). With a new preface (2014).
The Feminist Art History Conference was a highly successful three-day conference held at American University for five years, from 2010 to 2014. Organized by the art history faculty, it was sponsored by the Art History Program in the Art Department (College of Arts and Sciences). Originally developed in 2009 to honor the legacy of notable feminist emerita faculty Mary D. Garrard and Norma Broude in the year of Broude’s retirement, the conference grew in scope and attendance each year after that. Presenters and attendees came from across the United States and numerous foreign countries, demonstrating the value and growth of feminist scholarship internationally.
The FAHC was lauded by many attendees as an invaluable venue for sharing feminist scholarship and camaraderie; it drew more than 150 paper proposals each year, from which 60 to 75 papers were selected by the organizing committee and grouped into up to eighteen sessions (2014) based on thematic and chronological contiguities, that ran over three days. With topics spanning a broad range of chronological time periods, aesthetic concerns, and topical interests, the conference brought together feminist art historians and theorists to learn, debate ideas, network, and share ideas, and participants’ papers illustrated the diverse ways in which feminist research and interpretation continue to inform art historical analysis and scholarship. Each year also had a featured Keynote Speaker: Lisa Gail Collins, Vassar College (2014); Patricia Simons, University of Michigan (2013); Whitney Chadwick, San Francisco State University (2012); Mary Sheriff, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (2011); and Anna Chave, Queens College and the Graduate School, CUNY (2010).
The amount of work involved in putting on this conference was significant. The full Art History faculty, including professors emerita Broude and Garrard, worked as a collective to read the proposals and develop each year's program. For the first two years, we also chaired all the sessions on site; after that, we invited feminist art historians from other institutions in the Washington area and beyond to help with that task. From 2010 through 2013, our Visual Resources curator, Kathe Albrecht, expertly set up the conference logistics. Each year, many of our AU graduate and undergraduate students also contributed to the preparation processes and on-site success. Sadly, after five years the faculty realized that we could no longer sustain the level of work required to produce the conference. We continue to hope that another group of feminist art historians might be able to revive what was an inspiring and fulfilling project. For more detailed information, please see the archived files for individual years (listed to the left) for Conference programs, Keynote titles, and other information.
"Thank you for staging such an interesting and important conference that keeps feminism visible in our field and gives us a chance to share ideas across continents and generations."
— Sherry C.M. Lindquist
"What defines a memorable experience for a scholarly conference is superb organization, exemplary scholarship, and genuine collegiality. We look forward to continuing our conversations with this community of feminist scholars."
— Amy K. Hamlin & Karen J. Leader