Articles tagged with: Keri Cronin

  • Second-year student Erin Grayley shares her experience as History of Art and Visual Culture (HAVC) student

    (From: Learning to Look at Visual Culture; The Brock University Humanities Blog | Written by: Erin Grayley. Published by:Alison Innes)


    Erin Grayley is a second year student in the History of Art and Visual Culture (HAVC) and a volunteer with the Faculty of Humanities’ Social Media Ambassador program. In this blog post, she demystifies what History of Art and Visual Culture is all about and answers some of your questions.

    As a second year History of Art and Visual Culture major, I find people are often confused about what I do or what my program even is.

    I don’t actually create physical art in class nor do I have any studio-based work but I am considered an art student.

    The way I like to describe it is, in the history of art and visual culture program (or as we lovingly refer to it, HAVC) we study the theory behind the art. Just as musicians study musical theory, we study artistic theory.

    In HAVC, we focus on many different aspects of images and their effects. Aside from the art history side of things, which dives into art through the ages and work/artists that changed the face of art, visual culture focuses on skills and tools to help understand images and think critically about how we process information though images and art in everyday life.

    The question of “what is visual culture” is not easily answered. Visual culture looks at the different ways we can think about visual imagery and how that imagery affects things like society, politics, life today and history, as well as how we interact with the world and the people around us.

    In visual culture, we focus on a concept of “the viewer makes meaning” in relation to images and art. The importance of the viewer and how a viewer visually and contextually analyzes an image are important tools. We learn very early in the program how to visually and contextually analyze images and artwork. These skills are the foundation of HAVC and will help students during their program and in many different careers.

    HAVC is not strictly related to art, either. It crosses many disciplines and is used by everyone, everyday (sometimes without even realizing it). We are exposed to visual culture everywhere we look. Having the skills to properly articulate ideas about images and critically think about what we are seeing is an important skill for students in any discipline.

    I wanted to know what people outside of the HAVC community had to say so I took to Instagram and asked my friends and followers to send me questions about my program and visual culture in general. I’ve picked some of the most asked questions and answered them for you here! The response was amazing and I was so glad so many people took interest in learning more about HAVC.

     

    What’s your favourite class?

    It’s hard to pin point which is my favourite, as so many of my classes are interesting and innovative in different ways! However, Visual Culture and the Human Body (VISA 3P52) and Introduction to Contemporary Art (VISA 2P88) are among the most fascinating for me this semester.

    What classes are you looking forward to in your program?

    As a third year student next year, I will be able to take an independent study course (VISA 3F99) where I will be able to advance my studies in an area of mutual interest with a professor in the Department of Visual Arts. This course allows me to further my research in a specific context that interests me!

    How can a student get into studying History of Art and Visual Culture?

    The first courses that start you in this major would be VISA 1Q98 (Introduction to Visual Culture) and VISA 1Q99 (Introduction to History of Art). These will give you the resources and prerequisites to take your studies in many different directions within the History of Art and Visual Culture program.

    Are there opportunities for abroad studying?

    YES! there are many different opportunities to study abroad in this program! Depending on the year, there are different destinations for study, such as Italy and the Mediterranean! Learn more about exchange opportunities on the Brock International website.

    What is your favourite part of History of Art and Visual Culture?

    My favourite part of the program is definitely the visual culture side. From starting first year not really understanding what visual culture was, to now critically thinking about imagery and how visual images and art can shape the ways we think about the world and others is inspiring! I love what I am able to learn and accomplish in this program. I am inspired to research and create in new ways every day and the endless opportunities I am presented with motivate me to continue studying HAVC!

    What possible careers can you pursue with this major?

    There are many possibilities with a major in History of Art and Visual Culture. Since this area of study can cross through many disciplines, it can manifest into anything you want it to be. Professions include curatorial work in galleries, arts administration, law, teaching, and writing and publication.

    You can find more information about HAVC at Brock on the Department of Visual Arts website.

    If you have any further questions or want to speak to a faculty member in HAVC, you can contact Keri Cronin, an Associate Professor in the Department of Visual Arts, at 905 688 5550 x5306 or keri.cronin@brocku.ca.

    << Read the full post by Erin Grayley and other posts by Alison Innes on the Humanities blog. >>

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    Categories: Current Students, News

  • New book explores the art of animal advocacy

    Associate Professor of Visual Arts Keri Cronin examines the role of visual images, such as Edward Landseer’s A Distinguished Member of the Humane Society (exhibited 1838), in animal activism in her new book,  Art for Animals: Visual Culture and Animal Advocacy, 1870-1914.

    (Source: The Brock NewsTuesday, May 22, 2018 | by )

    It was while searching for a set of lantern slides many years ago that Keri Cronin inadvertently found inspiration for her latest book.

    The slides never materialized but what Cronin, an associate professor in Brock’s Department of Visual Arts, did find was an abundance of material on animal advocacy.

    That material has helped to form her latest publication, Art for Animals: Visual Culture and Animal Advocacy, 1870-1914, which explores the use of visual art material in campaigns for animal advocacy.

    Art for Animals cover

    Art for Animals: Visual Culture and Animal Advocacy, 1870-1914 is the latest book by by Associate Professor Keri Cronin.

    Influenced in part by authors who looked at visual culture in other social justice movements, such as suffrage and civil rights, Cronin’s book explores how animal advocacy images were created, circulated and consumed, and the impact that had on ideas about the humane treatment of animals.

    “Visual culture played an important role in defining campaign goals, recruiting membership, raising funds, and, ultimately, sustaining and challenging dominant ideas about nonhuman animals,” writes Cronin.

    Her biggest challenge has been locating archival material to piece together the stories of animal advocacy.

    “For so long, the history of human-animal relationships was not a particularly valued area of research, and archival collections often reflect this,” says Cronin, who hopes the book will lead people to recognize relevant print material they might have in their own collections.

    The cheap, mass-produced pamphlets created and distributed by animal advocacy groups in the late 19th and early 20th century often weren’t considered valuable enough to save.

    The field of animal-human relations, however, has recently seen an explosion of interest both within the University and the broader public. Cronin notes that although her book deals with historical material, many of the key points have relevance for how images are used in animal advocacy today.

    “It is high time we turn our attention to how animals have always been part of our stories, histories, labour and societies,” she says.

    Art for Animals asks us to think about the ways in which visual images can both shape and challenge dominant narratives about non-human animals.”

    A public book launch will be held for Art for Animals on Wednesday, May 23 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Mahtay Café, 241 St. Paul St. in St. Catharines.

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    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Events, Faculty & Instructors, Media Releases, News

  • Symposium to focus on depictions of animals in literature, art and society

    Visual Arts Professor Donna Szoke will be awarded with the Faculty of Humanities Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity at the HRI Spring Symposium on Tuesday, April 17. Szoke’s work with animals includes her current piece, Midst, which uses video projectors and fog machines to create animations of large animals on a wall of fog.

    (Source: The Brock News, Monday, April 09, 2018 by Alison Innes)

    The Elephant in the Room will be the topic of discussion next week at the annual Humanities Research Institute (HRI) Spring Symposium on Tuesday, April 17.

    This year’s theme, “The Elephant in the Room: Making Space for Animals in Our Research and Teaching” explores the use and depictions of animals in history, literature, art and society. Faculty members from the Faculties of Humanities and Social Science will share their work on critical animal studies and human-animal studies.

    Symposium organizer Associate Professor Keri Cronin hopes this year’s topic will bring together researchers from across the University to start important interdisciplinary conversations and make the work already being done more visible.

    “Brock is, in my opinion, the place to be for animal studies,” says Cronin. “But because those of us researching and teaching these topics are so spread out and scattered across campus, it’s hard to get a sense of just how deep this research runs.”

    These HRI events are essential to maintaining the Faculty of Humanities’ sense of community, says Michael Carter, Associate Dean of Humanities and Director of the Humanities Research Institute.

    “The symposia provide wonderful opportunities for interaction and mutual support of our diverse research and creative agenda,” he says.

    The HRI was created to encourage the development of research programs and initiatives within the Faculty, as well as to generate public awareness of the diversity of humanities research by faculty and graduate students.

    This year, Visual Arts Associate Professor Donna Szoke will be awarded the 2017 Faculty of Humanities Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity at the symposium. Szoke’s artistic work includes media art, interactive animation, installation and printmaking.

    Szoke’s multidisciplinary work has included creating a free smartphone app, “Invisible Histories,” which maps nuclear waste at the Niagara Falls, N.Y. Storage Site, where more than 270,000 mice used in radioactive experiments have been buried.

    More recent work by Szoke has included “Bold as Love,” a site-specific response piece at Rodman Hall Art Centre, and “Knitting Cigarettes,” an ongoing performance art piece of public knitting.

    The 2017 HRI Spring Colloquium will be held at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts on Tuesday, April 17. The full schedule is available online.

    What: HRI Spring Symposium, “The Elephant in the Room: Making Space for Animals in Our Research and Teaching”

    Where: Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts

    When: Tuesday, April 17, 1 to 4:30 p.m.

    Limited parking available on site. Members of the Brock University community and guests are welcome to park on a first-come first-served basis. City parking lots are available nearby.
    See www.stcatharines.ca/en/livein/ParkingLotsGarages.asp

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    Categories: Events, Faculty & Instructors, In the Media

  • HRI Spring Term Symposium: The Elephant in the Room

    Image: Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals.

    The Humanities Research Institute will be hosting its Spring Symposium on Tuesday, April 17, 12:30 to 4:30 pm at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts room 406. The public is welcome to attend! No registration required.

    This year’s theme, “The Elephant in the Room: Making Space for Animals in Our Research and Teaching,” explores the use and depictions of animals in history, literature, art, and society. Faculty members from the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Social Science will share their work on various aspects of animal studies, including critical animal studies and human-animal studies.

    Opening remarks: Michael Carter, Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies, Faculty of Humanities

    Session I: 1:00 p.m.

    Chair: Keri Cronin (Visual Arts)

    • John Bonnett (History), “Turns, Convergences and De-Stabilization: Is the Animal turn the next Big Thing in History?”
    • Barbara Seeber (English Language & Literature), “Animals and the Country House Tradition Revisited in Mary Leapor and Jane Austen”
    • Elizabeth Neswald (History), “Feeding the Dog”
    • Adam Dickinson (English Language & Literature), “Anatomic: Microbes, Chemicals, and Metabolic Poetics in the Anthropocene”

    Coffee/tea break: 2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

    Session II: 2:45 p.m.

    Chair: Keri Cronin (Visual Arts)

    • Kendra Coulter (Labour Studies), “The Elephants are Working: Animals, Labour, and Care”
    • Keri Cronin (Visual Arts), “Surveillance or Sanctuary?: The Power and Potential of Live Cams for Humane Education”
    • Lauren Corman (Sociology), “Vile Creatures: Abject Animals at the Limits of Society and Culture”

    Presentation of Faculty of Humanities Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity to Professor Donna Szoke

    Donna Szoke (Visual Arts), “Invisible Animals”

    Closing remarks: Carol Merriam, Dean, Faculty of Humanities

    Limited parking available on site. Members of the Brock University community and guests are welcome to park on a first-come first-served basis. City parking lots are available nearby. See www.stcatharines.ca/en/livein/ParkingLotsGarages.asp

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  • Brock prof earns prestigious fellowship

    (Source: The Brock NewsWednesday, April 26, 2017 | by . Photo caption: “Visual Arts associate professor Keri Cronin. Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals”)

    The animal advocacy movement has a rich visual history, and for her ongoing contributions to the movement, Brock University art historian Keri Cronin has been made a Fellow with the prestigious Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics.

    The Visual Arts associate professor is particularly interested in the ways those working for animal advocacy in previous eras used images in campaigns.

    “It’s really important to think about the relationships that exist between images and animal ethics because representations of animals shape how we think about them, how we treat them,” says Cronin, who is also a Faculty Affiliate in Brock’s Social Justice and Equity Studies graduate program and a founding member of the Social Justice Research Institute. “Images can have real-world consequences for actual flesh-and-blood animals.”

    “My work asks people to consider what happens if we think about these images as part of the larger cultural narrative about how we treat animals, how we decide what counts as ‘cruel’ or ‘humane’ treatments and how those ideas shift over time.”

    Cronin’s research has lead her to archives across North America and the U.K. in search of material such as leaflets and handbills, which often have not been catalogued or preserved in the same way as material on other topics.

    The Visual Arts professor has published several books on visual culture and activism and has recently curated an exhibit, “Be Kind: The Visual History of Humane Education” for The Animal Museum.

    She has also launched a new multimedia project with Jo-Anne McArther of We Animals called Unbound: Women on the Front Lines of Animal Advocacy.

    Cronin’s forthcoming book, Do Not Refuse to Look at These Pictures: Visual Culture and Animal Advocacy 1870-1914, is due out this year and she hopes it sparks conversation and awareness about the visual culture of early animal advocacy.

    The Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, now comprised of more 100 international scholars, draws together academics from the humanities and sciences, including subjects as diverse as philosophy, theology, law, biology, history, social sciences, literature and politics.

    Membership is by invitation only and only a small portion of those nominated are eventually selected. The lengthy and painstaking selection process recognizes those have made outstanding contributions to the field of animal ethics.

    Cronin is the second Brock professor to join the Centre; Sociology professor Lauren Corman is an Associate Fellow in recognition of her interdisciplinary work on animal rights, posthumanism, feminist, critical race, labour, and environmental theories and practices.

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  • Lauren Regier’s Bioart piece Aroma Illius Laqueo.

    (Source: The Brock News, Wednesday, January 18, 2017 | by . Photo: Lauren Regier (BA ’14) works on her photographs in studio.)

    Three classes into her first Brock University art course with Professor Keri Cronin, Lauren Regier (BA ’14) knew she wanted to study art full time.

    She has since continued to nurture her passion for art and recently launched a photography exhibit at Malcolm Gear Studio in Welland.

    Regier called her connection with Brock and the local arts community, as well as an artist residency she took following graduation, critical to her artistic development.

    It was her professors at the University who explained the residency process and shared their professional experiences to help guide her in an appropriate direction.

    With the support of professors Amy Friend, Irene Loughlin and Donna Szoke, Regier opted to participate in the Sointula Art Shed Residency Program near Vancouver Island in March 2016.

    Lauren Regier’s Bioart piece Aroma Illius Laqueo.

    The residency was an important opportunity for her to explore functional and survival properties of plants, humans and animals, and to apply that research into the construction of the plants in her Bioart series.

    The series is a collaboration of science and art that creates new, interesting organisms by meshing together existing bits of plant matter.

    Regier’s work combines plants with industrial products to create strange new prototypes. She documents her creations in black and white photography, hand-tinted with watercolours.

    Regier’s current exhibition, Fantasy Fleur, is an offshoot of her Bioart series.

    “I wanted to break with the notion of idealized beauty — something that is manufactured and very commonplace when it comes to depicting nature, such as floral wallpaper and furniture patterns,” Regier said.

    The Fantasy Fleur photographs feature plants in different stages of their life cycles. They are printed on aluminum; the highly polished surfaces allow for interactive play between the viewer and the work.

    “Similar to species that bloom at specific times of the day, these metallic prints respond to their environments and viewers are forced to physically interact with the work in order to see the image,” Regier said.

    Producing the pieces has been a highlight for Regier over the past year.

    “Meeting wonderful people in the community through Brock University and Rodman Hall has been crucial in developing my practice and providing me a platform to show my photographs,” she said.

    Regier first met Malcolm Gear in her curatorial art class at Brock.

    The artists recently reconnected at a Rodman Hall event at Mahtay Café, which ultimately led to Regier’s exhibition being launched at Malcolm Gear Studio, 464 East Main St. in Welland.

    Her work is on display until Jan. 31.

    Regier’s photography is also available for viewing on her website.

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    Categories: Alumni, In the Media, News

  • Visa professor gets funding for project profiling women animal rights activists

    Associate Professor of Art History Dr. Keri Cronin has received major funding for her research on the history of animal rights and the role of women in this advocacy during the 19th and early 20th centuries:

    While researching the history of animal rights, Brock visual arts professor Keri Cronin realized that women did much of the advocacy work in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

    She also noticed that, quite often, there was little information about these women. For example, it was common for a woman’s first name to be omitted from the record, with only her married name – Mrs. Smith, for example – being listed.

    That got Cronin and her friend, award-winning photographer Jo-Anne McArthur, thinking.

    “What we’ve noticed again and again is that it’s always women on the ground, raising the money, holding the bake sales, protesting, and it’s usually men at the head of the organizations,” says Cronin. “This is true today and obviously in the 19th century, too.”

    “We thought, ‘all these women are doing amazing work and they’re not getting credit, they’re not being celebrated.’ We want to change that.”

    For the full story, please click here to read the Brock News article, and click here to visit the project website for The Unbound Project: Women on the Front Lines of Animal Advocacy.

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  • Visa Professor Launches New Collaborative Project

    fsnov2014_jmcarthur-1592Dr. Keri Cronin, Associate Professor in Visual Arts, has announced a new interdisciplinary project with renowned photographer Jo-Anne McArthur (We Animals). The project is called Unbound: Women on the Front Lines of Animal Advocacy, and it will be a celebration of women who have worked tirelessly to make the world a better place for animals. The project received initial funding from the Culture & Animals Foundation. The project also received a “Match of Minds” grant from Brock’s Office of Research Services which is funding a research assistant position this summer. Katie Mazi, a Visual Arts major and Critical Animal Studies minor, has been hired in this position.

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  • Visual Arts Professor Keri Cronin presents paper

    (Source: The Brock News, Thursday, October 21, 2010)

    Keri Cronin presented a paper entitled “The Art of Animal Welfare Activism: Images and Our Dumb Animals” at the New England American Studies Association (NEASA) conference. The conference was on the theme of “The Arts and the Public” and was held at the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston Oct. 1 to 3.

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  • “The Art of Activism: Voice and Visual Culture in 19th-Century Animal Welfare Campaigns”

    (Source: The Brock News, Thursday, September 2, 2010)

    Keri Cronin presented a paper entitled “The Art of Activism: Voice and Visual Culture in 19th-Century Animal Welfare Campaigns” at the Association for Literature, Environment and Culture in Canada (ALECC) Conference held at Cape Breton University Aug. 19 to 22.

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