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Home » News » 38th Annual Art History Graduate Student Symposium

38th Annual Art History Graduate Student Symposium

Published April 10, 2022

The Florida State University Art History faculty and graduate students hosted the 38th Annual Art History Graduate Student Symposium remotely over Zoom Webinar on April 8 and 9, 2022.

Graduate students from around the country will present papers in three sessions on Friday afternoon, April 8 and Saturday, April 9, with each paper followed by critical discussion. Papers will then be considered for inclusion in Athanor, our internationally-distributed journal.

View the Program HERE>>>


Keynote Speaker: Roland Betancourt

Professor of Art History and Chancellor’s Fellow, University of California, Irvine

“The Case of Manuel I Komnenos: Gender, Sexuality, and Racialization in Byzantium”

Betancourt investigates the role of Byzantine art in modern and contemporary art and popular culture, as in his 2015 edited volume Byzantium/Modernism: The Byzantine as Method in Modernity. His 2018 monograph Sight, Touch, and Imagination in Byzantium proposes a new understanding of theories of vision in the ancient Greek and Byzantine worlds by distancing sight from touch and placing a central focus on the workings of the imagination. He is also the author of Byzantine Intersectionality, on the intersection of race, sexuality, and gender identity in the medieval world.


The Graduate Student Symposium has been hosted annually since 1981 by Florida State University Art History graduate students and faculty. Our 37th Symposium in March 2021 marked the first time the event was hosted entirely online, and also the first time it was entirely planned and directed an elected group of Art History MA and PhD students, the inaugural Graduate Symposium Committee.

The 2021 Symposium Committee also introduced a new roundtable session featuring the important role of the Museum and Cultural Heritage Studies specialization within the field of art history. The session, “Current Trends and Best Practices in Cultural Heritage Work,” featured alumnae and advanced graduate students who have worked with renowned museums, collections, and communities around the nation.


History and Mission

Inaugurated in 1981, the FSU Art History Graduate Symposium participates in a long tradition of student conferences in our discipline. This open forum brings together students, professors, and members of the community to share ideas and expertise. More than a series of lectures, the symposium is an opportunity for students to present the results of their scholarly efforts in twenty-minute talks, and to profit from the audience’s response. At the end of each paper, the speaker engages directly with the audience, both students and faculty, so that the ideas they present become the basis for further exploration. Each year we invite a distinguished scholar to deliver the keynote address and participate in these discussions, as part of our Visiting Scholars Lecture Series. Past keynote scholars have included Charlene Villaseñor Black, Barbara E. Mundy, Claire Farago, Felipe Pereda, Maria Gough, John T. Paoletti, Michael Leja, Richard Schiff, W. J. T. Mitchell, and Oleg Grabar.

Sharing research, meeting others in our field, creating long-lasting friendships and professional associations – these vital interchanges are at the core of the FSU Symposium experience. We seek to broaden the professional, personal, and academic horizons of every participant: the visiting young scholar, the returning alumnus, the local undergraduate considering graduate work — and of course the professors, who also learn a great deal in the process.


Our symposium is distinguished from similar gatherings because it was conceived from the start to result in a publication. Student speakers are able to submit their papers to our journal Athanor, published here since 1981 in the College of Fine Arts by the FSU Museum of Fine Arts Press. The manuscript goes through several stages of editing before coming to fruition in the final article, which have been published and shared with more than 300 libraries and institutions across America and Europe. In the interest of conservation and innovation, in 2019we transformed Athanor to an online publication, now edited by a graduate student editor on the Symposium Committee and published by FSU LibrariesAthanor.