The Contemporary Working Group is a newly inaugurated interdisciplinary research group, generously funded by a USC Research Collaboration Fund, for practitioners across the humanities and fine arts who are working on contemporary research topics or making creative work in relation to the contemporary field. As part of the group's activities, we are convening the Seminar Series, for which we are inviting scholars to lead seminars that place emphasis on ideas and shared language across disciplines and between the guest and interested students and faculty. These are based on the question of research: both about the substance, subjects, and intellectual materials within a major research project and the conditions of research in the university and museum or art field today. As such the seminars this year will support a spring event, A Working Session on Research and Publication Now. This working session explores the changing conditions for research in the arts and the proliferating formats of publication. The workshop is focused on identifying conditions and problem areas for research and publication activity.
Scholar and critic Rhea Anastas is the Director of USC Roski's M.A. Art and Curatorial Practices in the Public Sphere, and Assistant Professor of the Practice of Art Criticism. She earned her B.A. and M.A. from Columbia University and her Ph.D. from The Graduate Center, City University of New York. She was co-founder of the cooperatively organized Orchard on New York's Lower East Side (2005-2008), where she curated exhibitions and programs. Anastas's scholarship has appeared in books, catalogues and such journals as Grey Room and Texte zur Kunst, where the following piece, among others, appeared: "Material Holes, on Josephine Pryde at Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles," Texte zur Kunst no. 77 (March 2010). Anastas has published three books: as co-editor (with Michael Brenson), Witness to Her Art: Art and Writings by Adrian Piper, Mona Hatoum, Cady Noland, Jenny Holzer, Kara Walker, Daniela Rossell and Eau de Cologne (2006) and Dan Graham Works 1965-2000 (2001); as editor, Allan McCollum, JRP Ringier (2012).
Suzanne Hudson received her Ph.D. from Princeton University, and is currently Assistant Professor of Art History and Fine Arts at the University of Southern California. She writes on modern and contemporary art, with an emphasis on abstraction, painting, process, creativity, pedagogy, and American philosophy as it intersects with aesthetics and institutional discourses.
She is co-founder of the Contemporary Art Think Tank and the Society of Contemporary Art Historians, an affiliate society of the College Art Association, for which she currently serves as President Emerita and Chair of the Executive Committee. Hudson's work has appeared in such publications as Parkett, Flash Art, Art Journal, and October; a regular contributor to Artforum since 2004, she also has written numerous essays for international exhibition catalogs and artist monographs and lectured widely. She is the author of Robert Ryman: Used Paint (MIT Press, 2009; 2011) and the co-editor of Contemporary Art: 1989-Present (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013). Her book Painting Now is forthcoming from Thames & Hudson. She is currently at work on a manuscript on Agnes Martin and a study of the therapeutic uses of art in America from WWII to Vietnam.