What Is It Good For?

October 29, 2009

Last week, the Humanities and Sciences Department presented Visions of War: The Arts Represent Conflict, its Twenty-Third Annual National Conference on Liberal Arts and the Education of Artists. Nearly 100 papers were presented at the conference that also comprised three days of performance, films and panel discussions examining representations of conflict and war in art.


This year’s conference widened the scope of the event beyond the scholarly presentations to include several studio programs as co-presenters. Humanities and Sciences sponsored a performance of Jack Gilhooley’s play The Warrior, which examines the mental health of a Persian Gulf War veteran; after the play, faculty member Dr. Camillo Bica hosted a Talk Back session with actor Marietta Elaine Hedges and Readjustment Counselor Mariel Sosa. For the panel discussion Social Change, Conflict and a New Photographic Paradigm, the BFA Photography Department brought together Tim Davis, Tim Hetherington and An-My Lê with moderator Richard Woodward to discuss the effectiveness of photography as a political tool and instrument for social change. The MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Department screened Full Disclosure, a documentary by alumnus Brian Palmer (MFA 1990 Photography and Related Media) that chronicles back-to-back deployments by one U.S. Marine combat unit in Iraq. And the BFA Film, Video and Animation Department curated the film series After the Wars and presented a panel discussion, The Scars of War: Healing Through the Arts; moderated by David Berry, the panel featured filmmakers Brian Delate and Ari Folman, author Dr. Edward Tick and retired Colonel Ann Wright.


“Overall, the presentations, the performance, the panels and the films examined many aspects of the arts of war,” says Dr. Maryhelen Hendricks, conference director and co-chair of the Humanities and Sciences Department. “War is a very human activity, and though we say ‘give peace a chance,’ we don’t.”

Images: (top), still from Full Disclosure, ©Brian Palmer; (bottom) The Scars of War panel discussion (photo by Javier de Pablos Velez).

Be Sociable, Share!