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Globalising Art, Architecture and Design History?Debating Approaches to Curriculum Change in the UK

Friday 19 September 2003

London House, Goodenough College, Mecklenburgh Square, London WC1


"The GLAADH Project as a whole has created an impetus for change in a period that has coincided with some particularly difficult years for the discipline of art history within universities. There is a great deal more to do. GLAADH leaves a legacy - the issue is maintaining the impetus." (Sue Malvern and Paul Davies).

"It is important to keep opening up the questions and not to close them down. How can we continue this project which must be the most significant for art and design history / visual culture?"

"Excellent choice of plenary speakers - Mercer and Preziosi - a real coup to have them."

"Well that's over and I'm GLA(A)D(H)… T.S. Elliot, "The Wasteland"."

"All the case study contributions are gamely making limited and pragmatic amendments to an intransigent disciplinary structure."

"Tantalising not to know which of the talks to go to when looking at the programme - I wanted to go to them all."

"If cultural diversity is not just reflected in academic specialisms but also in pedagogic make-up, I fail to see, alas, judging by the present conference, where a more diverse subsequent generation of teaching staff will emerge from."

"Thanks for starting to shake things up."

"I was impressed by how much the project had achieved and by how trying to integrate new subject matter and approaches had a wider impact on their teaching generally. GLAADH had been a huge success!"

"Good questioning of the role of Art History in cultural diversity per se by Donald Preziosi."

"We need to encourage the questioning of both why and how we include cultural diversity. It is a huge task which cannot be easily implemented. Not only the inclusion of objects and "new histories" but also the rigorous critique of the assumptions by which we facilitate that inclusion is vital."

"Imbalance between the discussion of pragmatic pedagogic issues and of the underlying epistemological issue of the supposed subject of the day. Needed less of the former and more of the latter."

"Erasing the distinction between western - non western should require us to begin to clarify what our aims for "globalisation" really are. As it is, we are leaving too much unstated, and running the risk of creating a philosophical vacuum at the heart of Art History."

"In globalizing the study of the visual arts it is vital that we do not confine ourselves to the "major" arts of architecture and fine art but embrace too the crafts, design and visual communication in which so many are also interested" (Ken Quickenden).

"Globalization without political and intellectual examination is an empty gesture (and vice-versa)."

"As an initiative leader it has been great to attend the 2 'initiative workshops' and this final conference. Not only to discuss the issues raised at intervals, but also to see the progress the other initiatives have made over the last 18 months. Where to next?" (Thomas Dowson).

"The history of dissent is always and only written by the dissenters. This is almost true" (Allen Fisher).

"I felt encouraged by the many developments heard about and particularly thought that one shouldn't be afraid of doing something first because one can't do everything. A truly globalized art history will take perhaps a century (or more) to achieve - we have to start somewhere!"

"Donald Preziosi's comment at the end about the way that visual culture and identity need not be synonymous and can create false differences was very timely."

"As a foreigner, I found it very instructive to see how the British University is striving to adapt its curriculum to the challenges of post-colonialism and globalisation. The results seem to be already very positive."

"Imagination will find ways of teaching a wide acknowledgement of human creative identity but needs to be sustained by accessible visual and textual material. Libraries have responsibilities as well as teachers to be inclusive." (Marion Arnold).

"I would endorse Rasheed Araeen's furiously radical position that the philosophical basis / roots of art history need to be reflected upon to shift significantly. Until then (and as Donald pointed out, Art History has been very powerful in modernity) this "diversity" making and "globalizing" might just be a cultural tourism. This is a now crucial point for Design History which is more deeply entrenched in Eurocentrism and seemingly ever resistant to any (post-colonial) disciplinary reflexivity." (DB).

"Changing the curricula of Art History takes time. This excellent project has demonstrated a growing awareness and indeed willingness to change. Oh good. Thank you all."

"Globalization is more global for some than for others."

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