CFP: Art & Abortion
at the Association for Art History Conference, London, 12-14 April, 2023 (abstracts due 04 Nov 22)

On May 2, 2022, a draft decision leaked from the US Supreme Court confirmed what many had feared: that the highest US court was set to overturn the 1973 decision Roe vs. Wade and roll back protections governing women’s rights. Almost immediately after, appointment books and clinics began to close in multiple US states. This situation was far from isolated; in the U.K., pandemic gains for women in access to early at-home abortion will roll back on August 29th, 2022. As these and other examples from around the world demonstrate, the present moment appears to be one of regression and regulation.

In the light of these unprecedented cuts to abortion access concomitant with greater restrictions on women’s rights to make choices about their bodies, this panel takes up the politics surrounding the history of abortion as it threads through art practice and activism. The prioritization of the rights of the unborn over the those of girls, women, and others to their own bodies has a deeply rooted precedent and has thereby been a subject of artistic engagement and counterstrategy from the deep past through contemporary activist and feminist art–a lineage that can be traced, for example, from the production of ancient Greek medical tools to Marylin Minter’s Cuntrol (2019).

Our panel invites historians of art and scholars of adjacent fields to engage with any aspect of the artistic engagement with abortion from antiquity to the present. Non-traditional approaches, methodologies, and objects are welcome, as are collaborations and cross-disciplinary formulations. Given the sensitive nature of this topic, we ask that presenters and audience members maintain awareness that others in the room may need content warnings and support during the presentations and subsequent conversation — and we, as convenors, will help facilitate such support.


“The Violence of Care: Women Enslaved as Wet Nurses in Ancient Greece” at Mother’s Milk: Breastfeeding from Metaphor to Practice (UNH and online, 21-23 October, 2023)


In 2021-2022, I served as a Kershaw lecturer for the Archaeological Institute of America

21 April 2022: “Cut from the Womb: Towards a Feminist History of Ancient Greek Medicine” Palevsky Lecture, Classics UCLA

01 April 22: Tektōn: Doctor Kits and Artist Tools,  AAMW Colloquium, University of Pennsylvania

“Color and Chora” for the Program in Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Johns Hopkins.

Peopling the Past with Carolyn Laferriere and Chelsea Gardner: Living in a Material World: Jennifer Stager and Technicolor Statues

"Dragon's Blood and the Blood of Dragons" as the opening session of the Gardner Center for Asian Art's fall series Color in Asian Art: Material and Meaning.

Form Beyond the Aesthetic (a workshop)
06 March 2020 JHU & The Baltimore Museum of Art

"Marks for Words: on making from ancient Greek ekphrasis" in Languages of Art History at CAA (14 February 2020)

"Color and the Built Environment" Yale (04 Feb 2020)

“When Matter Becomes Form” New Materialism, Old Material MLA Seattle (January 2020)

"Seeing Color in Ancient Mediterranean Art: In conversation with Sarah Derbew and Susanne Ebbinghaus" Harvard Art Museums (December 2019)

“Color & Contempt” Siren Echoes: Sound, Image, and the Media of Antiquity Cornell (Nov 2019)

“Seeing Color in Ancient Mediterranean Art” Pepperdine College (October 2019)

“Color, Vision, and Variegation” University of Washington, Seattle (May 2019)

“Curatorial Practice and the Machine” Simpson Center, University of Washington, Seattle (May 2019)

“Color, keramos, and cosmos” Theoretical Archaeology Group, Syracuse (May 2019)

Sappho's Colors (Nov 11 at PAMLA)

The Power of Color in Art: Polychromy and Pigments in Ancient Mediterranean and Latin American Art
February 2nd 2018 at UC Davis; 4-7pm

Color in Classical Art
05 October 17 at the de Young Museum

Rethinking Color in Ancient Mediterranean Art
20 May 17 at the Legion of Honor Museum

Materiality in Art
08 December 16 at California College of the Arts

Picasso's Classicism
20 January 17 at Los Angeles County Museum

Living w/ Traumatic Brain Injury
03 November 16 with Peter Radavich and Dr. Phiroz Tarapore at UCSF