2024 Fellows Lectures


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Join the 2023–2024 SAAM Fellows as they present new scholarship on a range of topics and time periods, media and messages. This multi-afternoon program will highlight a new generation of scholars who are engaging the Smithsonian’s collections and archives in order to tell new stories about American art. The lecture will be held in person and online; registration opening soon.

Wednesday, May 8

Session I: 1–2:45 p.m. ET
Moderated by Eleanor Jones Harvey, senior curator, Smithsonian American Art Museum 

  • Cassandra Good, Smithsonian Institution Senior Fellow, Marymount University
    “Picturing Power: Representations of Women's Political Participation in Early American Art” 
  • Molly K. Eckel, Joe and Wanda Corn Predoctoral Fellow, Princeton University
    “The Prophecy of Divine Justice in Robert S. Duncanson’s Robbing the Eagle’s Nest (1856)” 
  • Ashley Williams, William H. Truettner Predoctoral Fellow, Columbia University
    “Marking Clay and Shaping Freedom: The Wilson Potters in Reconstruction Texas” 

Session II: 3:15–5 p.m. ET
Moderated by Robin Veder, executive editor of American Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum

  • Phillippa Pitts, Wyeth Foundation Predoctoral Fellow, Boston University 
    “Pharmacoepic Visions: A Critical Disability Studies Perspective on Nineteenth-Century Art” 
  • Elizabeth Fair, Smithsonian Institution Predoctoral Fellow, University of California, Berkeley 
    “Frames of Memory: Chinese American Architecture in Post-Earthquake San Francisco” 
  • Natalie E. Wright, George Gurney Predoctoral Fellow, University of Wisconsin—Madison 
    “Disability and ‘Function’ in Postwar America” 

Thursday, May 9

Session III: 1–2:45 p.m. ET
Moderated by Melissa Ho, curator of twentieth-century art, Smithsonian American Art Museum   

  • Kelly-Christina Grant, Terra Foundation Predoctoral Fellow in American Art, Paris Nanterre University 
    “Sense of Location: The Travel Narratives in Loïs Mailou Jones’s Landscapes” 
  • Chaeeun Lee, SAAM Predoctoral Fellow in Asian American Art, City University of New York, The Graduate Center 
    “Bernice Bing's Ghosts: Abstraction and Psychic Reparation in Chinese America” 
  • Tyler Shine, Will Barnet Foundation Predoctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania 
    "Infinite Radius: Alma Thomas's Earth and Space Paintings"   

Session IV: 3:15–5 p.m. ET
Moderated by Randall Griffey, head curator, Smithsonian American Art Museum 

  • Kéla B. Jackson, Terra Foundation Predoctoral Fellow in American Art, Harvard University 
    “‘All I Had to Do Was Fly’: Faith Ringgold’s Sutured Visions of Black Girlhood”
  • Sonja Gandert, Smithsonian Institution Predoctoral Fellow, City University of New York, The Graduate Center 
    “Cowboys, Glitter, and Molotov Cocktails: Luis Jiménez's West as Protest" 
  • Li Machado, SAAM Predoctoral Fellow in Latinx Art, Temple University 
    “The Portrait as Archive and Activism in Queer Chicanx Los Angeles” 

​Friday, May 10

Session V: 1–2:45 p.m. ET
Moderated by Saisha Grayson, curator of time-based media, Smithsonian American Art Museum 

  • Sadé Ayorinde, Terra Foundation Predoctoral Fellow in American Art, Cornell University 
    “Many Men: Invisibility and Vulnerability in Glenn Ligon’s To Disembark 
  • Adela Kim, Douglass Foundation Predoctoral Fellow, Yale University 
    “In Appropriate Institutions: Andrea Fraser’s Tearing Critique, 1991–1993” 
  • Alex Dika Seggerman, Patricia and Phillip Frost Senior Fellow, Rutgers University-Newark 
    “Untangling Islam in American Art: Shirin Neshat, Ghada Amer, and Shahzia Sikander” 

Session VI: 3:15–4:30 p.m. ET
Moderated by Mary Savig, Lloyd Herman Curator of Craft, Renwick Gallery 

  • Jenni Sorkin, SAAM Senior Fellow in American Craft, University of California, Santa Barbara 
    “The Metaphoric Textile: Regional Group Exhibitions of the 1990s" 
  • Namita Wiggers, Smithsonian Institution Senior Fellow, Critical Craft Forum 
    “Making Craft History: Exhibitions in U.S. Craft Museums, 2000–2020” 


Click here to view the 2022-2023 recordings


Image/Credit: SAAM 2023–2024 Fellows, courtesy of subjects