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Cultural Production, Place and Power

Cultural Production, Place and Power:
A dialogue centering place-based, relational, interdisciplinary cultural studies analysis with Geneva Gano and Jennifer Marshall


Friday, April 23, 2021
12:30 - 2:00 pm

The CSSW, the English Department, the History Department and the College of Liberal Arts are sponsoring a dialogue about art, culture and power based in The Little Art Colony and US Modernism. Professor Jennifer Marshall, an art historian, and Geneva Gano, a cultural studies specialist, discuss the methodological challenges and scholarly rewards involved in closely examining smaller and racially segregated hubs of cultural activity like Taos, Carmel and Provincetown.

Geneva Gano’s The Little Art Colony and US Modernism is the first to historicise and theorise the significance of the early twentieth-century little art colony as a uniquely modern social formation within a global network of modernist activity and production. Alongside a historical overview of the emergence of three critical sites of modernist activity – the little art colonies of Carmel, Provincetown and Taos – the book offers new critical readings of major authors associated with those places: Robinson Jeffers, Eugene O’Neill and D. H. Lawrence. Geneva M. Gano tracks the radical thought and aesthetic innovation that emerged from these villages, revealing a surprisingly dynamic circulation of persons, objects and ideas between the country and the city and producing modernisms that were cosmopolitan in character yet also site-specific.  

Jennifer Marshall, Photo 2021Jennifer Jane Marshall (Associate Professor, University of Minnesota)
Jennifer Jane Marshall is Associate Professor of Art History and the Director of Undergraduate Studies at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities. She is a specialist in American art and visual/material culture of the 1920s and 30s, with special focus on histories of sculpture, museum display, the marketplace, and the role of the artist in negotiating all three. Dr. Marshall’s book, Machine Art, 1934 — a study of Alfred Barr and Philip Johnson’s exhibition of industrial design at the Museum of Modern Art — won the Dedalus Foundation’s Robert Motherwell Book Award in 2013. An NEH recipient, a fellow at her university’s Institute for Advanced Studies, and a visiting instructor at Stanford University; Dr. Marshall’s research has appeared in American Art, the Art Bulletin, Hyperallergic, and the podcast BackStory. She is currently at work on a book about the American sculptor, William Edmondson.

Geneva Gano, photo 2021Geneva Gano received her Ph.D. in English from the University of California-Los Angeles in 2007 and held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Bill Lane Center for the American West from 2007 to 2008. Before joining the Department of English at Texas State University in 2015, Dr. Gano also taught at Indiana University and Antioch College. She is the author of numerous scholarly journal articles, chapters, book reviews, and papers presented at national and international meetings. Her latest book, The Little Art Colony and US Modernism: Carmel, Provincetown, Taos, has recently been published through Edinburgh University Press.