Tuesday 19th Feb 2019
Put on by UW Simpson Center for the Humanities
Pictorial art has often been seen as one of the hallmarks of anatomically and cognitively modern, or what might be called "psychologically modern," human beings. The lecture re-evaluates this notion in light of new findings in prehistoric studies and new arguments in the history and theory of art. How did pictorial art emerge and what does it do for the human species?
Whitney Davis is George C. and Helen N. Pardee Professor of History and Theory of Ancient and Modern Art at the University of California at Berkeley and Honorary Visiting Professor of Art History at the University of York. His teaching and research interests include prehistoric and archaic arts (especially prehistoric arts of north Africa and European Paleolithic art); worldwide rock art; the Classical tradition and neoclassicism in Western art since the later Middle Ages, and especially in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in Britain; the development of professional art history in interaction with archaeology, philosophical aesthetics, anthropology, and other disciplines; art theory in visual-cultural studies, especially problems of pictorial representation in relation to computation and notation; aspects of modern art history, especially its expression (or not) of nonnormative sexualities; the history and theory of sexuality; queer theory; world art studies; and environmental, evolutionary, and cognitive approaches to the global history of visual culture. He is the author of ten books, the most recent of which is titled Visuality and Virtuality: Images and Pictures from Prehistory to Perspective (2017).