Jennifer Way (UNT) is presenting “Photography and Vietnamese Resettlement: Narrating Refugees for Americans” in the session called A Rightful Home? State-Sponsored Migrations and US Empire (sponsored by the Immigration and Ethnic History Society) at the American Studies Association annual conference, Denver. She served as guest editor for “Collections and Questions of Belonging,” a special issue of Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals (12 no. 3 summer 2016) with Elizabeth Weinfield. The issue considers how archives and museums understand belonging, possession and dispossession in terms of acquisition, relationships with local communities, and collecting practices, and how these institutions participate in discourses of national identity.
Scheduled across the fall and spring, Way’s and UNT colleague Lauren Cross’s Conversations: Art, Politics and North Texas series consists of five discussions featuring DFW artists and scholars who will speak about their socially engaged work as it relates to urban contexts, civic institutions, culture and history within various cities in North Texas. During the fall, the series brought Christopher Blay and Lauren Woods to UNT.
Way’s spring seminar, Politics of Exhibitions, explores the exercise and distribution of power in relation to curation, installation formats, narratives, circulations and uses of exhibitions. Her undergraduate and graduate course, Questions of Race and American Art Since 1945, explores relationships between contemporary art world activity and changing ideas about and lived realities of race in America.
This fall, the College of Visual Arts and Design launches Conversations: Art, Politics and North Texas, a series organized by art historians Lauren Cross and Jennifer Way, featuring five North Texas artists/scholars who work at the intersections of art, politics, cultural equity, and history. Each invited artist/scholar will engage in a discussion about their socially engaged work as it relates to urban contexts, civic institutions, culture, and history within various cities in North Texas. While grounded in our region, the Conversations series will give participants and their audience an opportunity to consider local art politics in comparison with other regions or the nation.
Additionally, each artist/scholar in the series will illustrate what counts as politics, including implications behind the pushback and the accessibility of opportunities for artists/scholars attempting to create cultural equity in their local art communities. Each conversation will take place on a Thursday evening between 6:00-7:30 pm in Art Room 101 located in the Art Building on the University of North Texas Denton campus.
- September 29– Christopher Blay, Artist and Curator at Art Corridor II at TCC Southeast Campus
- October 27– Lauren Woods, Multimedia Artist and Visiting Assistant Professor SMU (UNT alumni)
- February 2– Sara-Jayne Parsons, Curator TCU Art Galleries, and Giovanni Valderas, Assistant Director of Kirk Hopper Fine Art and Vice Chairman of Cultural Affairs Commission for the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs
- March 2– Darryl Ratcliff, Artist, Co-Founder of Ash Studios and Michelada Think Tank Center, and City of Dallas’ Office of Cultural Affairs.
In relation to her current book project, Jennifer Way (UNT) is presenting “Politics of American Diplomacy/Politics of Craft” at the 34th International Congress of Art History, Beijing. Recent publications related to her project include serving as guest editor for “Contemporary Asian Craft Worlds,” a special issue of Journal of Modern Craft, with Rebecca M. Brown, and publishing “Rooted to and Routed from the Nation: Craft, Modernity and South Vietnam, 1956-61,” American Studies Eurasian Perspective 1 no 2 (2016): 73-86; “The Liminal Collection: Vietnamese Handicraft at the Smithsonian,” Verge: Studies in Global Asias, Collecting Asias, Special Issue edited by Charlotte Eubanks and Jonathan Abe 1 no. 2 (2015): 115-135, and “Cold War Cultural Imperialism,” Early Cold War section, 1946–54, Volume 4, in Imperialism and Expansionism in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection edited by Chris J. Magoc and C. David Bernstein (ABC-Clio Press, 2015): 1082-1084. Way’s fall seminar looks at how we narrate objects, with emphasis on craft and decorative arts, across histories of modernisms in their geographic and historical pluralities. This fall also sees the ninth year of her Collections Cultures and Collaborations series, which charges art history methods students with researching the collections of regional art institutions, either for subsequent exhibition or public presentations. Additionally, the coming semester is the second time her students will teach art history to far away communities online through the Virtual Senior Center based in New York.