Category Archives: Symposia

Draper Student Maria Slautina on Attending the Fifth Biennial French Graduate Conference “Authority and Authorship” at Johns Hopkins University

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In October I attended the Fifth Biennial French Graduate Conference “Authority and Authorship” at Johns Hopkins University. My background in medieval French literature and authorship lead me to an interest in global medievalism, and as a result, in global comparative literature. It can be very illuminating to explore how people with different backgrounds and histories deal with the same problems. In the paper I presented, I looked into how Russian author Andrei Makine and Japanese author Akira Mizubayashi resolve problems of authority while writing in French, a foreign language for both. I wanted to understand what lead them each to chose French as their adopted language, and how this choice then influenced their voice as authors.

Though this research fits within the field of literature, it’s also close to the art history project that I have been developing during my studies at Draper. I’m exploring the notion of creativity in the context of contemporary societies in flux. How much relevance is there today for the idea of national arts, music and literature? How do we define an artist who is born in one country, grows up in another, and is creatively active in a third? How does the act of moving abroad or traveling between different places influence creativity? Finally, what does travel do to previously conventional perspectives? Do people start to create because of the experience of migration, perhaps as a way to deal with discomfort or anxiety? Or are they inspired by new acquaintances? How do the new forms of creativity influence actual art spaces and museums?

At the conference I was pleased to find myself in a thriving community of young scholars from around the world. Canadian, French, Australian and American graduate students and researchers came together for fascinating discussions about authorship, translation and the figure of the author in a wide range of disciplines.

Fri Oct 30, 11:30 am-6:30 pm: Symposium in conjunction with For a New World to Come at Grey Art Gallery

Friday, October 30, 11:30 am–6:30 pm
For specific times and locations, see below


Collapsing Disciplines and Distance: Experiments in Japanese Arts in the 1970s

Focusing on their interdisciplinary research into a wide range of art practices in Japan from 1968 to 1979, speakers in this symposium will discuss their experiments and methodologies in positioning their work from a global perspective. They will examine the emergence of new approaches to the arts during this period—often referred to as “contemporary” or “information era” and mediated by advanced technology
as well as new materialism.

Gallery Conversations

With Yasufumi Nakamori, curator of the exhibition and associate curator of photography,
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

11:30 am–1:00 pm: Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street
Private tour with bento box lunch. Tickets: $30 non-members/$25 members
Capacity limited. Required RSVP to:

2:00–3:00 pm: Grey Art Gallery, NYU, 100 Washington Square East
Free of charge, no reservations, capacity limited.

NYU Silver Center, Room 208
(Enter at 32 Waverly Place)

3:15–4:15 pm: Session 1: New Ways of Seeing: Art, Photography, and Literature

With speakers Yasufumi Nakamori, curator of the exhibition and associate curator of photography,
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Franz Prichard, assistant professor of East Asian Studies, Princeton University; Reiko Tomii, independent scholar and co-founder of PoNJA-GenKon, a listserv group;
and Brett de Bary, professor of Asian Studies and Comparative Literature, Cornell University.

4:30–5:30 pm: Session 2: New Ways of Sensing: Technology, Sound, and Urbanism

With speakers Ann Adachi, executive director, Collaborative Cataloguing Japan; Miki Kaneda, lecturer in Musicology and Ethnomusicology, Boston University; Thomas Looser, associate professor of East Asian Studies, NYU; and Jonathan M. Reynolds, professor of Art History and Architecture, Barnard College.

5:30–6:30 pm: Roundtable discussion moderated by Thomas Looser and Yasufumi Nakamori.
Respondent: Pepe Karmel, associate professor of Art History, NYU.

Co-organized by NYU’s Department of East Asian Studies and Grey Art Gallery,
and co-sponsored by Japan Society.

Free of charge, no reservations, programs subject to change.
Photo ID required for entrance to NYU buildings.


Offered in conjunction with the exhibition For a New World to Come: Experiments
in Japanese Art and Photography, 1968–1979,
presented in New York City in two parts:
at the Grey Art Gallery, New York University (September 10–December 7, 2015)
and Japan Society Gallery (October 9, 2015–January 10, 2016).

For more information on the exhibition,
please visit


Grey Art Gallery, NYU:
Tuesday/Thursday/Friday: 11 am–6 pm
OPEN LATE Wednesday: 11 am–8 pm
Saturday: 11 am–5 pm
Closed Sunday/Monday/Major holidays, greyartgallery[at], 212/998-6780

Japan Society Gallery:
Tuesday–Thursday, 11 am–6 pm
OPEN LATE Friday: 11 am–9 pm
with free admission 6 pm–9 pm
Saturday–Sunday, 11 am–5 pm
Closed Monday/Major holidays, 212/832-1155

For a roster of the Grey’s upcoming public programs, visit our website at