The Annual Graduate Symposium in the History of Art is sponsored by the University of Alabama at Birmingham and University of Alabama Joint Program for the M.A. in Art History. It alternates each year between the UAB and UA campuses. The symposium is an all-day event at which M.A. students give papers, followed by a keynote lecture. Begun in 1995, the symposium offers students the opportunity to present their research in a setting of their peers and distinguished scholars in the field of art history.

2020 Graduate Symposium

The 2020 Graduate Symposium will be held at UAB. Check back to this page for more information, follow our social media for announcements, or email Graduate Program Director Dr. Cathleen Cummings for more information at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Past Keynote Lectures

  • 2019: Catherine Zuromskis, Rochester Institute of Technology, “Feeling History: Evidence, Affect, and the Visual Culture of the Kennedy Assassination”
  • 2018: Meryl Bailey, Mills College, “Returning the Past: Cultural Heritage, Ethics, and the American Museum in the Twenty-First Century”
  • 2017: Kristin Schwain, University of Missouri, “Establishing an African American Eden: Samuel Albert Countee’s World War II Mural for Fort Leonard Wood’s Black Officers’ Club”
  • 2016: Susan L. Huntington, The Ohio State University, "The Absence of Evidence is Not Evidence of Absence: Shifting Paradigms and Constructions of Knowledge in Buddhist Art"
  • 2015: Barbara Mooney, University of Iowa, "From Jumping Jack to Jump Jim Crow: The Origins of a Pernicious Southern Stereotype?"
  • 2014: Jeanette Kohl, University of California, Riverside, “Serial Patricians. Authenticity and Duplication in Renaissance Portraiture”
  • 2013: Andrew Hottle, Rowan University, “Why Are You Doing This? …and Other Questions about Rescuing Art from the Dustbin of History”
  • 2012: Sarah Betzer, University of Virginia, “Ingres’s Shadows”
  • 2011:Tim Barringer, Yale University, “The Condition of Music: The Aesthetic Movement and the Sister Arts”
  • 2010: Elizabeth Chew, Curator, Monticello, “Inhabiting the Great Man’s House: Gender and Space at Monticello”
  • 2009: Krista Thompson, Northwestern University, “‘The Sound of Light’: Reflections on Art History in the Visual Culture of Hip Hop”
  • 2008: Michael Yonan, University of Missouri-Columbia, “The Game of Looking: Interpreting Franz Xaver Messerschmidt”
  • 2007: Graham Boettcher, Curator of American Art, Birmingham Museum of Art, “The Wages of War: National Conflict and ‘Domestic Violence’ in Nineteenth-Century American Art”
  • 2006: Andrea Pearson, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, “Gendered Subject, Gendered Spectator: Mary Magdalen in the Gaze of Margaret of York”
  • 2005: Janice Leoshko, University of Texas at Austin, “Enlightenment, Ruins and Devotion”