Department ofArt and Art History


Art & Ethics Talk lead by Art Historians Kate Morris and Mario A. Caro

This week launched a vibrant new lecture series on campus, a series treating "Art and Ethics," which will run through the spring quarter. This week, a standing-room only crowd heard Kate Morris and Mario A. Caro discussed “Native American Art: Ethics, Cultural Patrimony, and Cultural Appropriation.” Professor Morris provided an introduction of the implications of “sovereignty” for Native American nations and their relations with the United States. Professor Caro followed with a broad overview of the various practices and institutions that engage in the appropriation of Native imagery and examined instances in which Native people have taken control of the production and dissemination of their own images. Professor Morris then presented a case study involving Jimmie Durham, a contemporary artist who has had a very successful career but whose claims to being Cherokee have been challenged by the Cherokee Nation itself, leading to extensive fallout within the contemporary art world, and beyond.This controversy raises many complex ethical issues to do with the roles of governments, institutions, artists, and scholars in determining who claims a Native identity, which led to a lively question and answer session. The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and the Art and Art History Department co-sponsored this thought-provoking event. We're looking forward to more exciting discussions, collaboratively produced by Markkula, Art and Art History, and Classics.