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Re-envisioning Asian American Art History

Summer Seminars and Institutes for College and University Teachers

Postmark Deadline: March 1, 2012

“Re-envisioning Asian-American Art History” is a three-week college and university teachers institute at New York University for twenty-five participants on pivotal developments and critical issues in Asian-American art history. The institute, co-directed by historian John Kuo Wei Tchen (New York University) and art historians Margo Machida (University of Connecticut) and Alexandra Chang (New York University), focuses on “pivotal developments and critical issues” in Asian-American art history.   Rather than adopting a monographic approach, the institute contextualizes Asian-American art within diasporic and transnational frameworks—that is, “globalized circuits along which artists, ideas, and artistic influences continue to flow.”  In week one, art historian Mark Johnson (San Francisco State University)  provides an overview from the early twentieth century through the post-war period; curator Karin Higa (Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles) focuses on Japanese-American artists and modernism, 1919-1945; and art historian Tom Wolf (Bard College) explores the careers of painter Yasuo Kuniyoshi and sculptor Isamu Noguchi.  During week two, Jeffrey Wechsler (Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University) presents on the East/West synthesis of Asian-American painting, Midori Yoshimoto (New Jersey City University) speaks on Japanese Americans in the Fluxus art movement, and Margo Machida discusses oral histories of living artists.  During the third week, co-director Chang focuses on Asian-American art after 1990 and, with her colleagues, leads study tours of museums, studios, and galleries.  Readings include G. Chang, et. al. (eds.),  Asian American Art:  A History 1850-1970; C. Benfey, The Great Wave; M. Frisch, A Shared Authority: Essays on the Craft and Meaning of Oral History; and A. Appadurai, Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. 

Dates: July 9-28 (3 weeks)
Grantee Institutions: New York University
Location: New York City, NY

About NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes for College and University Teachers

Each year the NEH’s Division of Education Programs offers teachers opportunities to study a variety of humanities topics in Summer Seminars and Institutes. Each NEH Summer Seminar includes sixteen participants working in collaboration with one or two leading scholars. Participants have access to a major research collection, with time reserved to pursue individual projects.

Amount of Award

NEH Summer Scholars are awarded fixed stipends to help cover travel costs, books and other research expenses, and living expenses. Stipend amounts are based on the length of the NEH Summer Seminar or Institute: $2,100 (2 weeks), $2,700 (3 weeks), $3,300 (4 weeks), $3,900 (5 weeks), or $4,500 (6 weeks).


NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes are designed primarily for teachers of American undergraduate students. Qualified independent scholars and those employed by museums, libraries, historical societies, and other organizations may be eligible to compete provided they can effectively advance the teaching and research goals of the project.

You may request information about as many projects as you like, but you may apply to no more than two NEH Summer Programs (seminars, institutes, or Landmarks workshops) and you may attend only one.

Please note:

Adjunct faculty, community college faculty and first-time participants are encouraged to apply.

Up to two seminar spaces and three institute spaces are reserved for current full-time graduate students in the humanities.

How to Apply

For more information and application instructions, please visit the program website listed above.