Orange Alert

Syracuse Symposium™ Presents Renowned Harvard Art Historian Nov. 17-18

Jennifer Roberts to explore relationship between social networks, print studies

Nov. 10, 2015, by Rob Enslin

Jennifer Roberts (Photo by Jon Chase/Harvard News Office)
Jennifer Roberts (Photo by Jon Chase/Harvard News Office)

Syracuse SymposiumTM continues its “Networks” theme with back-to-back events in Bird Library, exploring the relationship between social networks and American print culture. 

Jennifer Roberts, Elizabeth Cary Agassiz Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University, will present a lecture titled “Matrix, Meshwork, Moiré: Patterns in American Print” on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 6 p.m. in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons (Room 114). The following day, she will lead a sold-out HC Mini-Seminar at 3 p.m. in The Antje Bultmann Lemke Seminar Room, located on the sixth floor of the library in the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC).

The Nov. 17th lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Syracuse University Humanities Center at 315-443-7192, or visit    

Roberts’ visit is co-sponsored by the Department of Art & Music Histories (AMH) in the College of Arts and Sciences; the SCRC in Syracuse University Libraries; and SUArt Galleries. The Humanities Center is based in A&S.

“We are delighted to host Jennifer Roberts, whose cross-cutting research and critical insights into American art, from the colonial period to the present, are virtually without peer,” says Vivian May, director of the Humanities Center and associate professor of women’s & gender studies. “Much of her work examines the complex relationship between network science and print studies, and is interdisciplinary scholarship at its best.”

Roberts looks at American art through the lens of craft and materiality theory, print studies, and the history and philosophy of science. Her books include Transporting Visions: The Movement of Images in Early America (University of California Press, 2014) and Mirror-Travels: Robert Smithson and History (Yale University Press, 2004). Roberts is also the co-author of the textbook American Encounters: Art, History, and Cultural Identity (Pearson Education, 2007), as well as an exhibition catalog titled Jasper Johns/In Press: The Crosshatch Works and the Logic of Print (Harvard Art Museums and Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2012), published in conjunction with a show she curated at Harvard.

Romita Ray, associate professor of art history in AMH, anticipates a lively discussion about American art and material culture. “Professor Roberts will investigate, in her own words, the 'relationship between the social networks that replicated images enable, and the physical networks—the screens, dots, and lines of various printing matrices—that enable those images to be replicated in the first place,'" says Ray, who is organizing Roberts' visit.

Roberts is no stranger to campus, having served as the Carole and Alvin I. Schragis Postdoctoral Faculty Fellow in AMH from 2000 to 2002.

This visit coincides with a retrospective of acclaimed American artist James Rosenquist, whose paintings and prints are on display at SUArt Galleries through Sunday, Nov. 22.

"It's an exciting time to be on campus to discuss American print culture," Ray adds. "Professor Roberts will not only take us back in time to discuss 19th-century print networks, but also will draw us into the contemporary visual and social frameworks through which print culture is shaped and consumed."

The Syracuse University Humanities Center, founded in 2008, fosters public engagement in the humanities, and is home to the Syracuse Symposium™, the Central New York Humanities Corridor, the Jeanette K. Watson Distinguished Visiting Professorship, the Mellon Visiting Collaborator, the HC Mini-Seminar and Symposium Seminar series, the Perpetual Peace Project, and other annual research initiatives, annual fellowships, and public programming.

Media Contact

Rob Enslin