About the event

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This one-day interdisciplinary conference features papers on the international artistic and literary idiom of Magic Realism that arose in interwar Europe and has since spread around the world. This elastic term, coined by German art critic Franz Roh in 1925, has been routinely applied to characterize representations of the real world in various media marked by strange or supernatural qualities that speak to psychological, social, and political alienation or to transcendental states. Presentations will explore the indeterminacy of the category of Magic Realism, and how it intersects with questions of identity, agency, and power from the 1920s to the present.

Direct questions to: [email protected]


9:30–9:45am: Introduction
Organizers Stephanie Huber, Viviana Bucarelli, and Chloe Wyma, PhD candidates, Art History, The Graduate Center, CUNY

9:45–10:45am: Keynote Address- Franz Roh and Georg Scholz: Magic, Dämonie, and Kitsch, or, Verism Answers Back

Andrew Hemingway, Professor Emeritus of Art History, University College London

10:45–11:00am: Break

11:00am–12:30pm: Panel 1 – Politicized Bodies in Magic Realism

Discussant: Michael Lobel, Professor of Art History, Hunter College and The Graduate Center, CUNY
Followed by Q & A

12:30–1:30pm: Lunch Break

1:30-3:00pm: Panel 2 – Magic, Realism, and the State

Discussant: Romy Golan, Professor of Art History, The Graduate Center, CUNY
Followed by Q & A

3:00–3:30pm: Break

3:30–5:00pm: Panel 3 – The Magic of the Object

Discussant: Angela Miller, Professor of Art History and Archaeology, Washington University in St. Louis
Followed by Q & A

5:00pm: Closing Remarks
Emily Braun, Distinguished Professor of Art History, Hunter College and The Graduate Center, CUNY

This conference is organized by the Ph.D. Program in Art History, and Co-hosted by The James Gallery/The Center for the Humanities at The Graduate Center, CUNY.