Terra Foundation-supported Events

Lectures & Symposia

Symposium: “Cartographic Imagination: Art, Literature and Mapping in United States, 1945–1980”

This two-day international conference  investigates spatial representations and practices in postwar US literature and art, and their intersection with mapping. Organizers will investigate the ways in which American space is constructed, imagined, reconfigured, displaced, and questioned in writing and in artistic form. The conference will examine the specificity of the literary and artistic appropriation of cartographic tropes, as well as the possible points of convergence and divergence of literature and art in relation to mapping and the material culture of mapping.

For more information and to register, please visit:  https://www.kent.ac.uk/english/conferences/cartographicimagination/index.html

Conference: “Experience and American Art”

What does it mean to experience a work of art? What does it mean for a work of art to register—even enact—an experience? Would it be possible for an art historian working now, in experiencing a work of art, to sense some aspect of lived experience from another time, another place?

Organized by:

  • Alexander Nemerov, Carl and Marilynn Thoma Provostial Professor in the Arts and Humanities, Department of Art and Art History, Stanford University
  • David Peters Corbett, Professor of American Art and Director, Centre for American Art, The Courtauld Institute of Art

For a complete listing of the events organized by the Centre for American Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art, please visit their website.

For more information and to consult the full conference program, please visit:

Dialogue: “A Conflicted Geography: African American Artists & African Diaspora”

Among the critical questions that mark African American art historical scholarship today, the legacy of slavery and the transmission of cultural memories rooted in African traditions have emerged as some of the most loaded issues. Tracing the importance of the Afro-Atlantic diaspora in current debates has been recognized as an urgent task, which concerns critics and historians as well as artists. Critical thinking on the subject is heightened by the growing breach between those who refuse to consider black art a distinct category, speaking instead to its universal experience, and voices that claim its unequivocal difference, with race at its very core.

This dialogue will reflect on racial politics and the geography of global circulation by asking how American art has, from the nineteenth century onwards, been interwoven with African/African American/African Diaspora histories. Looking at the historical origins of these relationships and mapping their contemporary expressions, this event is part of the lecture series “The Artist as Geographer” (March 6 and 20, 2018), organized in conjunction with Steven Nelson’s spring 2018 term as Visiting Professor at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris.


  • Anne Lafont, Professor, École des hautes études en sciences sociales
  • Steven Nelson, Professor, University of California, Los Angeles

The event is free and open to the public. It will be held in English. Please RSVP by March 26 to:
[email protected]

Research Workshop: “Framing Environmental Dimensions in American Art”

This second edition of the Terra Foundation Research Workshops will provide the opportunity to discuss current research on the relationship between the visual arts and changing notions of the environment. Exploring depictions of the American landscape, artistic documentation of humans’ impact on the environment, aesthetic notions of landscape conception, and shifting ecological viewpoints in art history, this session will focus on the following projects:

  • Our Home and Native Land – The American Landscape in the Paintings of Birger Sandzén and John F. Carlson
    Isabelle Gapp, PhD Candidate in Art History, University of York
  • “No Picturesque Lyricism Here”: Industrial Wastelands in Lee Friedlander’s Factory Valleys (1982)
    Susann Köhner, PhD Candidate in American Studies, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
  • Observing the “New Landscape of Abstraction and Artifice”
    Nina Leger, Lecturer in Aesthetics, Université Paris 8
  • Toward an Ecocritical Turn of Art History
    Bénédicte Ramade, Lecturer in Art History, Université de Montréal

The event is free and open to the public. It will be held in English. Please RSVP by April 2 to:
[email protected]