Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, Inclusion, and Positive Change


Our Statement

The Kress Foundation Department of Art History is committed to creating and sustaining a diverse, equitable, accessible and inclusive community of students, teachers, and scholars. Through courses and research exploring cultural traditions from across the globe and spanning history, we aim to illuminate the rich diversity of human expression and experience and to foster appreciation for our common humanity. As we strive to move beyond a past built on racism, prejudice and systemic oppression, we pledge to do more to understand the historical forces that have created and perpetuate inequality, to advance anti-racism in our classrooms and within our community, and to build a truly inclusive art history. To that end, we will work to further diversify our courses and our curriculum; ensure that all students feel welcome in our classes regardless of their background, experiences, abilities and identities; and increase the diversity of our faculty and graduate student body.


Lecture Series: Intersections of Identity: Expression, Exchange, and Hybridity

This series began in the 2020-21 academic year with the intention of demonstrating how art history's critical investigation of the past - and contemporary artists' grappling with challenges of the present - can help us to recognize, analyze, and combat racism and inequality, affirming our discipline's value in the ongoing struggle to create a more just and equitable society.
What constitutes identity, and how do people navigate, form, and reform their sense of self? And how can the study of art and its history help us to consider the diverse identities expressed by visual culture and its creators? This series seeks to amplify the voices of scholars and artists whose work explores individual and collective identities as those intersect with notions of the body, dis/ability, gender, heritage, and race.
The series is sponsored by the Franklin Murphy Lecture Fund of the Kress Foundation Department of Art History. The lectures in the initial season were presented in partnership with the Spencer Museum of Art, KU Department of Visual Art, Lawrence Arts Center, Lawrence Public Library, Raven Bookstore, BLACK Lawrence, and other community partners.

2022-2023 Speakers

  • Poster of lecture with title and image of artist

    Duality and Identity: A Chinese Artist in the American Midwest

    HONG CHUN ZHANG: Artist

  • Lecture Poster featuring image of presenter

    Coloring Outside the Lines

    DR. KELLI MORGAN: Professor of the Practice and Director of Curatorial Studies, Tufts University

  • Lecture Poster

    The Women Artists of the Banana Garden Poetry Club: Test-Image Exchanges, Friendship, Family, and Identity in 17th Century China

    DR. LARA BLANCHARD: Luce Professor of East Asian Art, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

2021-2022 Speakers

  • art installation of figure sculptures

    Rejecting the Feminist Label: Xiang Jing and the Construction of an Artist’s Identity

    QUINCY NGAN: Assistant Professor, Pre-Modern to Contemporary Chinese Art, Yale University

  • artist standing next to artwork sign

    Land and Sovereignty: The Foundation for Public Art and Studio Practice

    HOCK E AYE VI EDGAR HEAP OF BIRDS: multi-disciplinary artist

  • self-portrait painting of artist

    Golem Girl: Being and Painting the Other

    RIVA LEHRER: Chicago based artist, writer, and curator

  • old black and white photo of artist painting

    Thinking Through Color: F. N. Souza's Black Paintings

    ATREYEE GUPTA: Assistant Professor, Modern and Contemporary Art University of California Berkeley

  • artist working on painting

    Blue Like Me: The Art of Siona Benjamin

    SIONA BENJAMIN: NYC based artist, speaker, and educator

  • abstract painting of tree

    Interdependent: Strategies of Friendship and Care in Asian American Art

    LAURA KINA: Vincent de Paul Professor of Art, Media, & Design; Director of Critical Ethnic Studies DePaul University

2020-2021 Speakers

  • bright colored painting of elk

    Okesa / Halfway There

    NORMAN AKERS: Associate Professor of Visual Art, University of Kansas

  • art installation including photographs, braided grass, and candles

    Unfinished (We Are What's Left Undone): Identity, Performative Racial Scripts & the Necessity of the Anti-Colonial Iconoclast

    M. CARMEN LANE: Cleveland-based artist, writer, and director of the ATNSC: Center for Healing & Creative Leadership

  • Lord William Cavendish Bentinck, Governor-General of India, Receiving Maharana Jawan Singh of Udaipur at the Ajmer Durbar, Held on February 8, 1832, attributed to Ghasi, c. 1832, Udaipur. Opaque watercolor, gold and silver on cloth

    Archive/Agency/Argument: Mobilizing the Knowledge of Colonial India's 'Native' Artists in 'Global' Art Histories

    DIPTI KHERA: Associate Professor of Art History, NYU

  • close-up of woman's face painted blue with Kimberly M. Jenkins headshot on top

    The Fashion and Race Database: Providing a Pedagogical Platform Amidst Fashion’s Racial Reckoning

    KIMBERLY M. JENKINS: Assistant Professor of Fashion Studies, Ryerson University, Toronto

  • Salvador Dalí's "Dream of Venus" pavilion art installation

    Dalí's "Dream of Venus:" Sex, Surrealism, and Eugenics at the 1939 New York World's Fair

    KERI WATSON: Associate Professor of Art History, University of Central Florida, and Director of the Florida Prison Education Project