Materials of Persuasion – Graduate Student Symposium

Materials of Persuasion, Graduate Student Symposium
Bard Graduate Center
38 West 86th Street, New York, NY 10024
April 23, 2010

Critics passing judgment, clergy seeking converts, advertisers selling products, and politicians running for office are all in the persuasion business. Persuasion is the key to the art of rhetoric, but there has always been a material dimension to persuasion as well.

Objects are vehicles of persuasion. We are persuaded to purchase and consume objects, and we use them to persuade others, to mediate the identities we put forth, and our interactions with each other. The roles of persuasive objects change over time as they pass from hand to hand. The mutable relationships between material objects, people, and desire are powerful, tantalizing subjects of study. So how does persuasion factor into these fluid equations? Makers, buyers, and users all have unique perspectives on the art of persuasion, as well as unspoken intentions that
are constantly at work beneath the surface. Some of these intentions may be deceptive – persuasion can have a dark side. Finally, persuasion rests upon various types of evidence – what must we see in order to believe?

Graduate students from diverse fields will be discussing the above questions through a variety of lenses at the Bard Graduate Center located at 38 West 86th Street (between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West) on Friday April 23. Breakfast and coffee will be served beginning at 9:00am,
the talks will commence at 9:30am. Below is a list of the speakers. We invite scholars from all fields to attend the lecture. Please RSVP to, seats are limited.

Grace Ong-Yan (University of Pennsylvania, Graduate Program in Architecture)
“From wrapping leftovers to modern architecture: Persuasion Strategies of Aluminum”

Dean Lampros (Boston University, American and New England Studies Program)
“Mansions as Marketing: The Fashioning of Self Image and the Sale of Luxury Goods by the American Funeral Industry, 1920-1980”

Maria Shevzov (Winterthur Program in American Material Culture)
“Marketing Homespun as Modern: Rabun Studios, 1936-1958”

Alexandra Oliver (University of Pittsburgh, History of Art and
“Capturing Socialist Style: fashion photography in East Germany”

Karin Jones (University of Missouri, Art History)
“The Exotic and The Emphatic: Decorative Arts and the Colonial Section of the Exposition Internationale de Bruxelles, 1897”

Nicholas Genau (University of Virginia, History of Art and Architecture)
“A Persuasion of Victory: Calixtus II and Spolia at Santa Maria in Cosmedin”

Everett Kramer (New York University, Draper Interdisciplinary Masters in
Humanities and Social Thought)
“An Arsenal of Teapots”

Keynote Speaker: Tim Burke, Professor of History, Swarthmore College

The Graduate Student Symposium Committee

The Bard Graduate Center for Studies
in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture
18 West 86th Street
New York, New York 10024


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s