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Happy Fall, Alumni!

I am excited for this week’s round-up of news. To me, autumn is a time for renewal, but it also seems to be the most hectic time of year. Here’s hoping this email finds you enjoying some respite. 

I had the pleasure of visiting BGC’s Majolica Mania exhibition a couple weeks ago. Having worked on some of the show’s educational materials, I had become familiar with the garden sculptures and many of the specialized dish wares. However, I was surprised to see the scale of some of these fantastical pieces in person! Evocations of fantasy must be in the air this fall– not just at Majolica Mania, but also at the Brooklyn Museum’s Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams. I hope that you too, find some enchantment in these wonderful exhibitions. 

In the meantime, please do not hesitate to pass on items of interest, either by email or through the online form. I’m always delighted to hear about your news and career changes!

Rachael Schwabe (MA ‘20)

Alumni Spotlight

Coco Zhou (MA ’20) has been hired as the Museum Assistant at the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia. She also recently published an essay, “The Gimmick of ‘Imagine Van Gogh’: On Labour and Value Across the Pacific” in Reissue. Congratulations, Coco!

Emily Isakson (MA ’21) has been hired as Development and Communications Coordinator at the Worcester Art Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts. Congratulations, Emily!

Leonie Trier (PhD candidate) has had her article, “Annotating Colonialism: Recent Exhibition Interventions in Historic Cultural (Mis)Representation at the American Museum of Natural History,” published in Museum Anthropology Review. Well done, Leonie!

Select Career Opportunities

Bard Graduate Center is hiring a Faculty position in Dress, Fashion, and Textile History.

Bard Graduate Center is hiring a Director of Public Humanities and Engagement. The Director for Public Humanities and Engagement is responsible for translating and interpreting the BGC’s intellectual mission for an audience spectrum that stretches from visitors to its gallery to those who want to grapple with complex ideas presented in panel discussions or commissioned arts events.

Bard Graduate Center is hiring a Development Associate. Reporting to the Chief Advancement Officer, the Development Associate has primary responsibility for maintaining administrative operations including overseeing the database and data management; gift processing; and facilitating communications, board meetings, alumni affairs, and special events.

Bard Graduate Center is hiring a Website Manager. The Website Manager will report to the Director of Marketing and Communications, and has responsibility to maintain and grow BGC’s institutional web presence.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is accepting applicants for the Slifka Foundation Interdisciplinary Fellowship (by November 5). The Fellow will work with the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts in collaboration with the Objects Conservation and Scientific Research Departments. More information about the Met’s fellowship programs can be found here.

The Morris Museum in Morristown, NJ, is hiring a curator for its Murtogh D. Guinness Collection of Mechanical Musical Instruments and Automata with an interest in art, music, technology, and their experiential / performative relationships who will develop exhibitions of contemporary relevance, broadly and creatively inspired by the collection’s historical foundation.

The Thomas Jefferson Foundation seeks an Americana Foundation Curatorial Intern (by October 10). 

New York University’s School of Arts and Science has opened a search for an Administrative Secretary in their Museum Studies Department. 

Bryn Mawr College has issued a call for papers for their 13th Biennial Graduate Group Symposium, entitled Kinesis: Movement and Mobility (by October 25). 

The Public Health Museum in Tewksbury, Massachusetts is seeking a Museum Coordinator.

Albany Institute of History & Art is in search of a Public Historian for Albany African History Project.

For more job listings: please visit the BGC job board.
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Select Events at BGC

Seneca Village Professional Development Workshop for Educators
Saturday, October 9
13 pm ET (In Person)
See place-based learning in practice with a historian-led walking tour of Central Park’s Seneca Village site and take away a clearer understanding of what life was like for those that called it home. Enter the Park at the northwest corner of the intersection at West 85th Street and Central Park West. Follow the path up the hill and keep an eye out for the Seneca Village kiosk, on the south side of the Spector Playground. In case of inclement weather, this session will be rescheduled.

Islamic Palaces in a Christian Land? The Royal Park Residences and Pavilions in the Twelfth-Century Norman Kingdom of Sicily
Tuesday, October 12
12:15 – 1:15 pm ET
From their capital Palermo, the Norman rulers controlled a vast kingdom in the mid-twelfth century that stretched across southern Italy, the island of Sicily, and coastal Tunisia, with a diverse population of Muslims, Christians, and Jews. In the scholarly literature, they are renowned for their ecclesiastical building and programmatic mosaic cycles based on Byzantine models. In her talk, Dr. Dana Katz will consider another corpus of buildings, the palaces and pavilions located in the royal parklands just outside Palermo.

Visiting INUA: Curating the Inaugural Exhibition of the New Inuit Art Centre, Quamajuq
Wednesday, October 13
12:15 – 1:15 pm ET
In this seminar, Inuk scholar and curator Dr. Heather Igloliorte will discuss the processes, motivations, insights, and Indigenous epistemologies and ontologies that informed the creation and installation of the first exhibition of the new international Inuit Art Centre, Qaumajuq, which opened at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in March of 2021. INUA, which refers to spirit or life force and is also an acronym for Inuit Nunangat Ungammuaktut Atautikkut or ‘Inuit Moving Forward Together,’ is the result of a large-scale collaboration with not only an exceptional team of emerging curators, artists, and academics, but also with numerous other Inuit and Inuvialuit who contributed to the development of the exhibition. The exhibition is a ground-breaking survey of contemporary Inuit art from Alaska, Canada, and Greenland—or Inuit Nunaat—which features over one hundred works made by more than 90 artists in diverse media ranging from sound and video, painting, textile work, wearable art, installation, sculpture, and more.

2021 Fall Open House for Prospective Students
Thursday, October 14
7:30 8:30 pm ET 
Bard Graduate Center Open Houses give prospective students the opportunity to learn much more about our MA and PhD programs. At this remote event, you’ll have the chance to hear from our faculty about their research and teaching, meet students, and see our spaces. The October open house will be hosted by our chair of academic programs, Prof. Deborah Krohn, and will include faculty members Jeffrey Collins, Ivan Gaskell, and Freyja Hartzell.

Cross-Cultural Transformation of Buddhist Talismans from Medieval China to Korea
Tuesday, October 19
12:15 – 1:15 pm ET
Based on materials excavated from inside Buddhist statues and tombs, Dr. Youn-mi Kim’s talk explores Buddhist talismans from medieval Korea. Recently a growing number of scholars have shown an interest in talismans used in Buddhist contexts. Buddhist talismans from medieval Korea, however, remain unknown, to say nothing of their connections to manuscripts discovered from the distant Dunhuang caves in China. Through an exploration of Korean Buddhist talismans, this talk traces a hybrid practice that interweaves Buddhism and Daoism, arguing that such hybrid talisman practices formed part of a large network that spanned western China and the Korean peninsula. Surprisingly similar types of talismans were used from 10th-century Dunhuang to 13th-century Korea. At the same time, the efficacy of each talisman reveals considerable modification which continuously changed according to the needs of local populations in different periods and regions. This talk is based on a joint study with Professor Paul Copp and Venerable Jeonggak.

Hyalomania: Early Modern Glass Research between the Disciplines
Tuesday, October 19
6 pm ET
As one writer confessed in 1685, he and his peers had fallen prey to hyalomania, or a glass craze. Hyalomaniacs were scholars obsessed with researching many properties of glass, such as its flexibility, porosity, malleability, or the unusual ways in which it could break (such as with the mere sound of a human voice). Glass came under such scrutiny during a period when the power of human art to compete with nature was a major topic of debate. The making of sparkling glass out of crude, friable ingredients like sand and ash almost proved the human ability to perfect nature, except that glass was fragile. Through glass, humans came as close as they could to perfection, only to have those ambitions shatter in the ultimate symbol of vanity. By exploring how hyalomonia integrated varied forms of knowledge, Dr. Vera Keller’s lecture shows how glass became a shared focus of attention spanning varied geographies, communities of expertise, and emergent scientific disciplines. 

Justice, Property, and Punishment: The Role of Montreal Sheriff Edward William Gray in Eighteenth-Century Quebec Slavery
Thursday, October 21
12:15 – 1:15 pm ET
The institution of Transatlantic Slavery was premised upon slave owner control and enacted through systematized violence, surveillance, and prohibitions imposed by slave owners and their surrogates. While white male overseers and slave patrols and black male slave drivers became normal aspects of tropical and semi-tropical plantation slavery, in Canada where cold winters made year-round mono-crop agriculture impossible, male adjuncts to slave owner power took other forms. Dr. Charmaine Nelon’s talk explores the role of the sheriff in eighteenth-century British slavery in the province of Quebec to understand the significant ways that the work of this British colonial official served to justify, sustain, and support slavery.

Race-ing Whimsy: Black and Asian figures in the Majolica Imaginary
Thursday, October 21
6 pm ET
Majolica’s reputation for ornament, historicism, and lighthearted eclecticism is well understood, and its astonishing breadth of styles and subjects and the explosion of workshops that manufactured the popular ceramic ware are thoroughly chronicled in BGC’s exhibition and accompanying catalogue, Majolica Mania. Curator Susan Weber observed that majolica, more than any other ware of the era, makes visible and tangible the interests, desires, and anxieties of nineteenth-century consumers on both sides of the Atlantic. However, the ways in which majolica incorporated ideas of race into its enduring subjects has remained little discussed. With this in mind, the panelists will consider issues of race and representation that were embedded in the majolica fantasmagoria of the nineteenth century.

Select Virtual and In-Person Events Out in The World

The Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology presents, “Putting Theory and Things Together: Conversations about Anthropology & Museums”
Thursday, October 7
6 pm ET 
Despite deep colonial legacies, museums can also be sites of interventions that illuminate obscured histories for expanded publics. Increasingly, diversely-positioned researchers in and outside museums are engaging collections and collaborating with source communities to create public-facing works, including film screenings at festivals, art installations, performances, temporary exhibits, and symposia presentations. Emerging through collaborative labor, these events create opportunities for diverse publics to convene. Speakers include Jilda Andres, Jaqueline Hazen, and BGC’s own Aaron Glass. 

Daniella Ohad presents, “Interior Design: The Legends”
Friday, October 8
12 pm ET
Join design educator and historian Daniella Ohad (PhD ’06) for an all-new online course exploring the work of ten influential interior designers. Interior Design: The Legends is an 11-session course featuring a series of personal interviews with legendary interior designers, many of whom have been instrumental in shaping the world of interior design. This course will investigate the field of interiors today, as well as the concept of “the home” as defined by these designers. Each session will take a different approach in examining the methods and philosophies of residential interior design.

Design For Us, By Us: Activating Community Agency
Saturday, October 9
10:30 am ET (Virtual and In Person)
Join the Community Design Collaborative (Philadelphia) and the Center for Architecture (New York City) for a cross-festival event featuring some of the top voices in community-led design. Bridging Design Philadelphia and Archtober, this panel discussion will highlight prominent design nonprofits in each city to reflect on the more than 50-year legacy of neighborhood design centers and how they are now more needed and relevant than ever. Panelists will examine how design can be used as a tool for systems change, forwarding principles of design justice and cultivating community empowerment and agency. A discussion with the audience will consider community engagement as the standard in all design and planning processes.

The American Folk Art Museum presents, Entangled Images: Perspectives on Indigenous Representation
Thursday, October 14
6 pm ET
Weathervanes are one of many American art forms that have long employed problematic stereotypes and romanticized symbolism in representations of Indigenous figures by non-Native artists. In our current exhibition American Weathervanes: The Art of the Winds, Joseph Zordan, consulting scholar and enrolled member of the Bad River Ojibwe, invites us to contend with these objects and the legacies of colonialism they represent, writing “Inevitably, such images tell us more about the people who made them than those they are said to represent.”

Online Puppet Playdate: Día de los Muertos
Saturday, October 16
1 pm ET
Join the Center for Puppetry Artists to learn about the history and traditions of this Mexican holiday, see a puppet show performed in Spanish, and build your own puppet in the style of La Calavera, the decorated skull imagery associated with the holiday.

Devi Vallabhaneni on Contemporary Embroidery Design
Wednesday, October 20
1 pm ET
As a child, Devi grew up to be a top student with a gift for math. At home, she spent hours playing calculus games with her father. Multiplication tables held no secret for her, and she developed a mathematical brain that would not only lead her to become a successful Harvard Business School alumna and businesswoman, but also help her conceptualize her complex embroidery creations. Needlepoint became synonymous with peace and quiet, a respite from the pressure of a business career. Devi’s talk will focus on her dedication to quality materials and the overall design process.

Birds of New York: Audubon in the City
Wednesday, October 20
7 pm ET
More than 200 different species of birds frequent the New York City area. Their safety and survival depend on what we do to curb the impacts of climate change, light pollution, and urbanization. Meanwhile, birding circles are addressing the racist and colonial legacies of the field. How do a diverse set of groups combine their knowledge in birding and ornithology with their passion for social justice to educate the public not only on the issues affecting birds but on those impacting their greatest advocates? 


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Gaggle.mail is an opt-in list-serv that serves as a place to share job openings, conference attendance, published books/articles, and exhibition openings directly with fellow alums. It’s a communication forum for alumni, by alumni. To circulate your news in the Gaggle group, send an email to