Celebrating 25 Years in the Research and Academic Program

June 26–28, 2025

Over three days, from June 26 to 28 in 2025, we are going to celebrate the 25th (ish!) anniversary of RAP, and we are inviting you back for four days of programming that will include lectures, roundtables, mini colloquia, film screenings, and casual lunchtime talks. This is not your typical art history conference. No stacked sessions of 20-minute papers. No keynote lectures. More hikes, s’mores, swag, and hanging out on the porch of the Visiting Scholars Residence drinking wine and sampling our beloved Berkshires cheeses. Shorts welcome. Wild swimming encouraged. 

We are coming together under a theme, writing art history, to think together over four days about the ways in which writing art history is changing rapidly. The introduction of positionality and autobiography into art-historical writing and inquiry remains relatively unexamined.  Since the formative leadership of Michael Ann Holly and the introduction of the Clark Studies in the Visual Arts, RAP has been dedicated to examining the various modes by which the writing of art history unfolds, its rhetorical strategies, the impossible divide between the object and beholder, and the ways in which we cross this divide through our words, attempting to articulate the division between, and intertwining, of language and being. The recent inventions of ChatGPT and other modes of artificial intelligence offer fascinating (if not sometimes terrifying) models by which to think about making “everything accessible online,” the role of human and non-human forms of intelligence, the hallucinatory aspects of all processes of writing, and where the complicated category of the “human” exists in our decolonial-turn.

This is an exciting time to come together to think about writing art history, and we want to involve you in shaping these conversations. So to convene this gathering, we are offering alumni (both former fellows and graduate students) the opportunity to bring together panels, workshops, lectures, or anything else that might strike your fancy that we find interesting, too.

Please check back in September 2024 for a full program, list of speakers, and other event details.