Art as Advocacy


Vermont College of Fine Arts will be holding its inaugural Hi-Residency conference – a cross-disciplinary alumni reunion – from September 24 through September 27.  The themes is “Art as Advocacy.” As part of a panel titled “The Personal is the Political,” I will discuss how writers advocate for those who are disabled.

Here is the abstract for the panel: The personal is political” has been a rallying cry for decades by various advocacy groups who have used the phrase to call attention to the idea that even our most personal actions have political implications. For authors who do not consider themselves to be advocacy artists, it is often difficult for them to see their works as political.

In literature, is there such a thing as art for art’s sake? What is the responsibility of authors in considering the political implications of their work? Do we need to preface our work with disclaimers in hopes of not triggering readership discomfort? Or is that the purpose of literature – to make one uncomfortable? How can we use our art as a way to uncover, as Claudia Rankine says, “the small moments that carve gaps of misunderstanding between Americans that lead to big, national moments of misunderstanding, like events in Ferguson and New York?

For me information about other panels and events taking place at he conference click here.

Hope you can join me for an intellectually stimulating and fall-fun weekend!


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