Art History MA Symposium: Keynote Speaker

Amanda Boetzkes, Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory at the University of Guelph: "Concerning the Origin of Climate Change Realism"
Wednesday, May 05, 4:30 p.m.

Zoom Webinar:

In this lecture I will consider how contemporary art addresses the conditions of global climate change and the claims made about it. I propose the concept of the phantasm as an analytical tool by which to understand the forms, expressions and representations that articulate the epistemological connections and gaps between scientific and artistic standpoints in the emerging world picture of climate change. I consider the concept of the phantasmatic image to describe how Inuit artists undertake a material-aesthetic operation that binds to and perturbs objective claims about climate change. In this regard I discuss the work of Greenlandic artist, Pia Arke as well as the collaborative work of Cape Dorset artist, Shuvenai Ashoona and Toronto-based settler artist, Shary Boyle.  

Amanda Boetzkes is Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory at the University of Guelph. Her research focuses on the aesthetics and ethics of art as these intersect with climate change, global ecologies of waste, the visual imaginary of petrocultures and the concept of ecological perception. She is the author of Plastic Capitalism: Contemporary Art and the Drive to Waste (MIT Press, 2019), The Ethics of Earth Art (University of Minnesota Press, 2010), and co-editor of Heidegger and the Work of Art History (Ashgate, 2014). She has published in the journals South Atlantic QuarterlyAfterimagePostmodern CultureE-flux; The Large GlassArt JournalArt HistoryPolygraph; and Antennae: The Journal of Nature and Visual Culture among others. Recent book chapters appear in Nervous Systems: Art, Systems, and Politics Since the 1960s (Duke UP, 2021); Climate Realism (Routledge, 2020); Materialism and the Critique of Energy (MCM’, 2018); Fueling Culture: 101 Words for Energy and Environment (Fordham University Press, 2016); The Edinburgh Companion for Animal Studies (Edinburgh University Press, 2017); and Art in the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Politics, Aesthetics, Environments and Epistemologies (Open Humanities Press, 2015).  

This event will have live CART captioning. For additional requests, including ASL interpretation or audio description visit