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Faculty Talk: Worlding with Water: “Staying with the Trouble” in the Hydrocommons with Emily Gephart, Visual and Material Studies faculty, SMFA
November 10 12:15pm
Aidekman Arts Center / Medford

Water’s fluidity and matter-filled viscosity have emerged in many contemporary art projects as fruitful metaphoric sites for expressing resilience. As a medium, bodies of water and their hydrological resources also serve as aesthetic laboratories for narrating alternate histories, envisioning possible futures, and resisting environmental and social exploitation. Exploring liquid ecologies in twentieth- and twenty-first-century art, this talk will look at artists whose “hydrofeminist” works bring together feminist, Queer, and ecocritical sensibilities.

TUAG faculty talks provide an opportunity for Tufts faculty to share their research as a conversation-starter in connection with—or counterpoint to—current exhibitions.

Emily Gephart is a historian of the Art and Visual Culture of the United States, with emphases on ecocriticism and the history of perceptual psychology. She has a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture and Art (HTC) program, an MA in Art History from Tufts University, and a BA in Art History and Studio Art from Oberlin College.

Gephart’s research spans many forms of visual culture: she has published and presented on how new scientific approaches to the unconscious mind informed the work of American artists and critics in the early twentieth century; on poetic satire and pictorial criticism of modernism in the 1916 Spectra hoax; on transatlantic encounters with the oceanic commons in art; on coordinated human and animal aesthetics in millinery fashion; and on the fabrication and perception of fly-fishing lures, among other examples of nineteenth-century “ecologies of mind.” Her co-edited collection of essays, Ecocriticism, and the Anthropocene in Nineteenth Century Visual Culture was released in 2020.