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Christoph Irmscher
Department of English

Jennifer Piurek
University Communications

Last modified: Thursday, October 22, 2009

IU to host mini-symposium 'Representing Animals in Art' as part of Themester 2009

Oct. 22, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington will host an open-to-the-public mini-symposium titled "Representing Animals in Art" as part of "Themester 2009: Evolution, Diversity and Change," the university's inaugural themed semester and a project of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Irmscher image

Photo by Chris Meyer

Indiana University Professor of English Christoph Irmscher helped organize a mini-symposium, "Representing Animals in Art," that will take place on campus Oct. 29-30.

Print-Quality Photo

The two-day event will be presented by Art and Environment (Institute for Advanced Study New Knowledge Seminar) on the Bloomington campus Oct. 29-30. The event was co-organized by Chrisoph Irmscher, a profesor of English at IU, with Patrick McNaughton, Chancellor's Professor in the Department of the History of Art, and Sarah Burns, also a professor in the Department of the History of Art.

All of the events are free and open to the public.

The symposium begins Thursday, Oct. 29, 6 p.m., at the Indiana Memorial Union's University Club with a talk by Rosamond Purcell of Medford, Mass., who will speak on "Holding the Line Between Treasure and Trash" (a reception follows). Purcell is a world-renowned photographer and the author of books including Owl's Head and Bookworm. Her photographs appeared in the 2008 book Egg & Nest, a Slate Best Book of the Year.

Speaking on Friday, Oct. 30, will be Rachel Poliquin, guest curator at the Museum of Vancouver (and an artist with an interest in taxidermy), and Alan Braddock, an assistant professor at Temple University whose courses focus on the history of American art and visual culture from the colonial period to present. Braddock's first book, Thomas Eakins and the Cultures of Modernity (University of California Press), was awarded an Ahmanson Foundation Publication Grant.

"We are elated to have these speakers here," said Irmscher. "They have all, in their own ways, done unconventional work in the past, breaking down disciplinary boundaries and cherished academic orthodoxies. We also like how they combine different perspectives -- that of the artist, the museum curator and the historian. This will be an event that should be exciting for people from many different backgrounds, and we particularly welcome students."

Irmscher added that members of the public and IU community are welcome to chat with the presenters after their lectures.

Events scheduled for Friday, Oct. 30

10 a.m., The Lilly Library: Rachel Poliquin giving a talk titled "Animal Beauty: Death, Longing, and Taxidermy"

11:45 a.m., The Lilly Library: Alan Braddock giving a talk titled "Celebrity Creatures: Andy Warhol's Endangered Species Series"

For more information about Themester, see