Art and Scholarship is a Mellon workshop that focuses on artistic production and scholarly research as sites of potential rejuvenation for scholarship in the humanities. Taking cues from a range of artists and theorists like Anne Carson, Eve Sedgwick, Ann Hamilton, and Fred Moten, this workshop takes up “making things” broadly, and wants to gather others to think through what practices go into creation: the creation of research projects, paintings, lectures, performances, dissertations, dances, and lives. Over the year, we hope to enable participants to more fully articulate the significance of their work given the persistent need to examine the function of these fields amid the tectonic shifts taking place in universities. The need to resituate work as part of a life practice also emerges from this precarious position. A question at the heart of this workshop is “what practices sustain us?” And what maintains the distinctions between creative art practice and academic research? Are these distinctions something we should try to preserve? Reformulate? How do these imagined or real differences affect what and how we make and how works of art and scholarship circulate? What are possible forms for performative, exploratory, or experimental scholarship? Further, what professional affiliations support transdisciplinary work? How do scholars with significant artistic practices identify themselves in the academic job market? And, again, what are some of the practices essential to creating ideas, outside of professionalization? This workshop will hold exploratory workshops over the course of the year in addition to hosting regular meetings centered on readings and participants’ current work. We will also host visiting artists and scholars to further engage with contemporary approaches in theory and practice.

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