CFP: From Suffrage to Stonewall: The Visual and Material Culture of Social Justice

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From Suffrage to Stonewall: The Visual and Material Culture of Social Justice


A one-day symposium sponsored by the Grace Slack McNeil Program for Studies in American Art at Wellesley College and Historic Deerfield, Inc.


Date: Saturday, March 14th, 2020


Location: Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA



The years 2019 and 2020 are significant anniversaries for the history of social justice movements in the United States. These anniversaries commemorate the many campaigns for social justice that have taken place from the 19th century to the present, including abolition/antislavery, women’s rights, and the civil rights movements for the African-American, LGBTQ, Native American, and disability communities. These campaigns all sought political and economic change, but they also focused on shifting cultural attitudes toward and perceptions of the groups for whom they mobilized. All of these movements deployed visual and material culture to advance their goals, but these artifacts have not drawn the scholarly attention they deserve. The 2020 Wellesley-Deerfield Symposium will focus on research related to any aspect of this subject from painting, sculpture, public performance and installation to ephemera, costume, and craft.


Papers should be theoretical or analytical in nature rather than descriptive and should be approximately 20 minutes long.  All proposals will be peer-reviewed. Speakers invited to present papers will receive overnight accommodation and are expected to participate fully in the symposium program.


Please submit 250-word proposals and a two-page c.v. via electronic mail to Martha McNamara and Barbara Mathews Proposals should include the title of the paper and the presenter's name. The deadline for submissions is November 15th, 2019.