Art of Cultural Criticism Lecture Series

The Townsend Center for the Humanities, the Arts + Design Initiative, the Arts Research Center, and the Art of Writing are pleased to present The Art of Cultural Criticism. This yearlong series of conversations features some of the most innovative and incisive writers on culture in its various forms—including visual art, film, old and new media, music, and literature.

Thursday, September 29 | Film, Television, Media Old and New
Lili Loofbourow and David Thomson

Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall | 5pm

Lili Loofbourow currently serves as critic-at-large for the Week. Her work on TV, film, and politics has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Guardian, the New Republic, Salon, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and other publications.

David Thomson is a film critic and historian. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Whole Equation: A History of Hollywood, Why Acting Matters, How to Watch a Movie, and The New Biographical Dictionary of Film.

Monday, October 17 | Music, Race, Popular Culture
Jeff Chang and Hua Hsu

Morrison Reading Room, 101 Doe Library | 5pm

Jeff Chang is executive director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts and author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, Who We Be: The Colorization of America, and the forthcoming We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation.

Hua Hsu is a contributing writer for the New Yorker, where he covers music, culture, and politics. An associate professor of English at Vassar College, he is the author of A Floating Chinaman: Fantasy and Failure Across the Pacific.

Thursday, November 10 | Artists, Subcultures and Research Methods:
Natasha Boas in conversation with Sarah Thornton

Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall | 5pm

Natasha Boas is an independent international curator, critic and professor of contemporary art and theory based in San Francisco. She is a regular contributor to Dwell, the Believer, the Huffington Post and other arts publications and the author of “A Partial and Incomplete Oral History of the Mission School” (D.A.P 2012) and “Energy that is All Around” (Chronicle Books and San Francisco Art Institute 2014.)

Sarah Thornton is a writer and sociologist of culture. Formerly the chief correspondent on contemporary art for the Economist, she is the author of Seven Days in the Art World, 33 Artists in 3 Acts, and Club Cultures: Music, Media and Subcultural Capital.  She has contributed to Artforum, the Guardian, and the New Yorker.


Thursday, December 1 | Art, Taste, Culture
Terry Castle and Dave Hickey

Terry Castle is Walter A. Haas Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University. Her cultural commentary appears in the London Review of Books, the Atlantic, Slate, the New Republic, and other magazines. She is the author of numerous books including The Professor: A Sentimental Education and The Apparitional Lesbian, and is the editor of The Literature of Lesbianism: A Historical Anthology from Ariosto to Stonewall.

Dave Hickey is an art critic and writer for Rolling Stone, Art News, Art in America, Artforum, Harper’s, and Vanity Fair. He is the author of Air Guitar: Essays on Art and Democracy, The Invisible Dragon: Essays on Beauty, and Pirates and Farmers: Essays on Taste.

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