Topography of Loss: A Symposium on Doris Salcedo


Friday, March 3, 2017, 10:00am to 5:00pm


Menschel Hall, Lower Level, Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St.

Presented by: Harvard Art Museums and the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS)
Admission: Free and open to the public.
​​​​​​​More information​​​​​​​

This symposium brings together scholars from a variety of disciplines and institutions to discuss Doris Salcedo’s work within the contexts of political science, human rights, religion, philosophy and literature, and art history. ​​​​​​​Organized around three panels and featuring a keynote address by Judith Butler, the two-day symposium seeks to prompt wider conversation about the issues that are underscored in the exhibition Doris Salcedo: The Materiality of Mourning (Harvard Art Museums, November 4, 2016–April 9, 2017) and in Salcedo’s work as a whole—issues that are increasingly relevant in contemporary societies around the world.

Keynote Lecture (March 2)

“Shadows of the Absent Body”
Judith Butler, Maxine Elliot Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Program of Critical Theory at the University of California, Berkeley

Panel Discussions (March 3)

“Fragments of War/Fragments of History”
Mary Roldán, Dorothy Epstein Professor of Latin American History and Chair of the History Department at Hunter College, City University of New York (CUNY); and Nancy Princenthal, Brooklyn-based writer and an author of the Phaidon monograph Doris Salcedo, 2000

Moderated by Jacqueline Bhabha, Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Jeremiah Smith Jr. Lecturer in Law at Harvard Law School, and Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School

“(Re)presenting Violence”
Sergio Delgado, Associate Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University; and Ana María Reyes, Assistant Professor in Latin American Art History at Boston University

Moderated by Tom Cummins, Dumbarton Oaks Professor of the History of Pre-Columbian and Colonial Art in the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University

“Ways of Dying/Ways of Mourning”
Kimberley Patton, Professor of the Comparative and Historical Study of Religion at Harvard Divinity School; and Mayra Rivera, Professor of Religion and Latina/o Studies, Harvard Divinity School

Moderated by Mary Schneider Enriquez, Houghton Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Harvard Art Museums and curator of Doris Salcedo: The Materiality of Mourning

“Closing Remarks”
Judith Butler, Maxine Elliot Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Program of Critical Theory at the University of California, Berkeley

Support for the keynote lecture is provided by the M. Victor Leventritt Fund, which was established through the generosity of the wife, children, and friends of the late M. Victor Leventritt, Harvard Class of 1935. The purpose of the fund is to present outstanding scholars of the history and theory of art to the Harvard and Greater Boston communities.

Modern and contemporary art programs at the Harvard Art Museums are made possible in part by generous support from the Emily Rauh Pulitzer and Joseph Pulitzer, Jr., Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art.

The exhibition Doris Salcedo: The Materiality of Mourning has been made possible by the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family, the Charles O. Wood III and Miriam M. Wood Foundation, Marguerite Steed Hoffman and Thomas W. Lentz, Catherine Marcus Rose and William Rose, Bridgitt and Bruce Evans, Mark N. Diker and Deborah A. Colson, and Elaine Levin. In addition, the following endowed funds have provided crucial support: the Agnes Gund Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art; the Alexander S., Robert L., and Bruce A. Beal Exhibition Fund; and the Harvard Art Museums Mellon Publication Funds, including the Henry P. McIlhenny Fund.