The Wollesen Memorial Graduate Symposium is the annual symposium for the Graduate Union of the Students of Art (GUStA) at the University of Toronto. It was inaugurated in 2014 as an enduring legacy and fond tribute to our esteemed late colleague Dr. Jens T. Wollesen. Dr. Wollesen joined the Department of Art at the University of Toronto in 1985. He specialized in the art of medieval Italy, Cyprus, and the Mediterranean basin with a particular focus in the relationship between image and text. He is also remembered as a professor dedicated to his pedagogical calling. He was the director of both the undergraduate and graduate programs at various times, and also served on the Art Committee of the University of Toronto’s Victoria University. His dedication as a professor led him to design a first-year Introductory Art History course which was widely acknowledged by students as legendary. His dedication to both graduate and undergraduate education remains his legacy, for which the yearly success of this symposium is a testament. It is made possible by the continuing support of his friends and family through the Jens Wollesen Memorial Fund.
This year, GUStA continues the tribute with a symposium entitled “The Art of Passage: Transnational Encounters and the Convergence of Cultures,” a forum that investigates how cultural interactions and artistic migrations have shaped the growth of art and art history. Concepts such as influence, originality, hybridity, and authenticity have long come to shape our perception and understanding of art history. While much of the discipline was shaped by the search for specific identities, typologies, or styles, artistic transformations brought about by intercultural exchanges and transnational interactions in diverse parts of the world throughout the history of art, have forced us to reassess seemingly fixed borders and to reconsider the mobility of art history.
Considering the expansive definition of “passage,” this symposium hopes to contribute to the increasingly robust scholarship that seeks to rehabilitate, reveal, and interrogate the formative role that intercultural encounters have had on the history of art. We encourage submissions from students and scholars employing interdisciplinary approaches in the context of visual culture from antiquity to the present.
Friday March 9, 2018
East Common Room, Hart House
7 Hart House Circle
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Keynote address: Dr. Iftikhar Dadi, Associate Professor, Cornell University
Symposium Chairs: Rachel Dewan and Marina Dumont-Gauthier