Category Archives: art

July 13, 2013, 5:02 pm

After the Dinner Party: An Evening With Judy Chicago

999028_10201725809293616_2040513223_nOne of the nice things about moving back to New York City is that every time you turn around something interesting is happening.  So it was that I found myself in the Rubin Lobby, a huge glass enclosure at the Brooklyn Museum, on an exceedingly warm evening. Institutional air conditioning was more than welcome.Jane Gerhard, an author in the book series I co-edit, was there with Judy Chicago to do a book launch for the latest volume in our series, The Dinner Party: Judy Chicago and the Power of Popular Feminism (University of Georgia Press: 2013).

It is rare that a historian gets to share the stage with someone she has  just written a book about; although as Jane pointed out, her book is really about the iconic status of The Dinner Party (on permanent display at the Brooklyn Museum) within popular feminism. Anyway, Judy Chicago does a great job speaking for herself.  ”What I like…

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June 11, 2013, 10:22 am

A Dinner Party with Pussy Riot and Judy Chicago

931371_10151495735323732_753159410_nTwo members of the Moscow-based feminist punk rock collective Pussy Riot have been spotted in New York City in the last week.  One of their destinations was the Landmark Sunshine Theater on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, where they took in the premiere of the HBO documentary, “Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer.” Since members of the collective wear neon balaclavas when they perform publicly, the celebrity crowd — which included Patti Smith — did not initially know that they were there.  According to The New York Times, the pair also hit “the feminist bookstore Bluestockings on the Lower East Side,” met ”with leaders of Occupy Wall Street and receiving a guided tour of  “The Dinner Party,” Judy Chicago’s feminist installation at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.” (more…)

March 17, 2013, 10:29 am

The Feminine Mystique @ 50: A New School Symposium

Ephemera-I-ChooseBack in February, we had a two day symposium at my new intellectual home, the New School for Public Engagement. Since it is women’s history month, I thought I would make the edited tapes of the event available to the rest of you, with the events featuring Tenured Radical embedded in this post.

Here is a discussion of the documentary “Some American Feminists,” led by my colleague Tracyanne Williams, and shown courtesy of Women Make Movies (Hat tip to another colleague, WMM board member Michelle Materre, for making this possible.) Here is our first panel, “House/Wife: The Feminine Mystique at Home,” moderated by my colleague and co-organizer Laura Auricchio, which situated women in twentieth century kitchens designed for modern family life.

Our keynote speaker was Susan Ware, general editor of American National Biography, with an introduction from yours truly:

The first…

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January 13, 2013, 11:38 am

Before Gay Was Good: Bob Mizer’s Aesthetic Legacy

Bob Mizer, @ 1942. Photo credit.

Yesterday your favorite Radical took some time off and bicycled over Manhattan to see the Bob Mizer show at Invisible Exports, a tiny gallery on Orchard Street. Born in southern Idaho, Mizer (1922-1992) was an early physique photographer, filmmaker  and the founder of Los Angeles’s Athletic Model Guild. This post over at Remains of the Web can give you a brief history of his career, as well as an account of the Bob Mizer Foundation, established to catalogue and preserve the capacious archive he left behind.

The gallery made the wise decision to show only a few conventional portraits. Much of the exhibit is made up of “catalogues,” storyboards Mizer created from contact prints, each of which depict an erotic scene (for example, “The Cowboy and the Bandit” or “The Unfaithful…

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April 13, 2012, 4:26 pm

What Kind of Times are These?

Anonymous, Adrienne Rich (c. 1975), courtesy of the Library of Congress [LC-USZ62-103575

Today’s guest blogger, Jennifer Finney Boylan, is professor of English at Colby College. She is the author of 13 books, including Stuck in the Middle With You: Parenthood in Three Genders, which will be published by Random House/Crown in 2013, along with the revised 10th-year anniversary edition of her memoir, She’s Not There. Boylan’s blog, There from Here is at, and she may be reached at


Last week, as prelude to an evening of poetry, my colleague Peter Harris– a writer and a professor here at Colby College–gave a short reading from Adrienne Rich’s “What Kind of Times Are These.” “She burned through the fog that I lived in like an acetylene torch,” he…

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April 24, 2008, 8:13 pm

What Time Is It? It’s Senior Thesis Time

Actually, it’s past senior thesis time. I advised two wonderful honors students, read five other theses (also real labors of love — my Zenith students never fail to impress me when they put their hearts into something), awarded a prize or two (or six, depending on who and what you are counting), and I have two more comments to write. Then I am done for this year. And of course, just as we send this group off into the sunset, the juniors start poking their heads around the doorjam and saying, “Professor Radical — I’d like to talk about my idea for a thesis?”

It’s the time of year that I am full of gratitude: gratitude for students who did their work with integrity and shared it with me, gratitude that a new group has enough faith in my powers of whatever to give it a whirl despite my obvious flaws, and gratitude — well….

That I wasn’t Aliza Shvartz’s tutor at Yale!

You knew I had to…

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January 8, 2008, 5:42 pm

Hello Dali!

OK, so your Radical is in convention recovery, in St. Petersburg Florida, by a pool. All I can say to everybody up north is: Nyah, nyah.

Just kidding.

OK — so part of the package is that I am in temporary charge of a three year old nephew. Big deal. He’s a sweet boy with a lovely smile. And, after an hour or so at a splendid playground and park by the water, he agreed to accompany me to the Salvador Dali Museum. I have been waiting approximately twenty years to get someone to do this with me, since surrealist art is never on the top of our agenda when we are visiting relatives who don’t see us much. But this morning, it was just me and the boy. So of course I jumped on the opportunity to take advantage of a companion who a) must do what I say, no matter what; b) has a pleasant disposition; and c) has a tendency to say “yes,” “no” or “OK” when you ask him a question. Hence, you…

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