Cornell University

The 2022 - 2023 Rabinor Lecture in American Studies

Tuesday, February 21, 2023 at 5:00pm

Goldwin Smith Hall, 132
232 East Ave, Central Campus

The 2022 - 2023 Rabinor Lecture in American Studies.

Title: Decolonizing Visual Culture: Interventions on a North-South Axis in the Americas

Speakers: Jolene Rickard and Ananda Cohen-Aponte 

Abstract: Is change possible? Can art, material and visual culture influence change? What might instigate a shift in attitude hemispherically concerning the movement and reception of peoples in the Americas? What does structural change look like? These are the questions that Cornell University Art History Professors Ananda Cohen-Aponte and Jolene Rickard are delving into as a collaborative effort. Each bringing expertise from the global north and south within the Americas, they locate structures of violence against Indigenous peoples within the Americas from the Doctrine of Discovery up to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples enacted in 2007. Their research recognizes Indigenous curatorial and artistic collaborations between Aotearoa, Australia, Canada and the United States while exposing thin or almost non-existent dialogue across North, Central and South America. Drawing upon case studies of contemporary artists and curatorial interventions that forge Indigenous and diasporic connectivities across the hemisphere, Cohen-Aponte and Rickard explore the entanglements of race, coloniality, and place-based knowledge in the visual culture of the Americas.


Ananda Cohen-Aponte is Associate Professor of History of Art at Cornell University who works on the visual culture of colonial Latin America, with special interests in issues of cross-cultural exchange, historicity, identity, and anti-colonial movements. Her book, Heaven, Hell, and Everything in Between: Murals of the Colonial Andes (University of Texas Press, 2016) explores the intersections between art, politics, religion, and society in mural paintings located in colonial churches across the southern Andes. She also served as editor and primary author of the book Pintura colonial cusqueña: el esplendor del arte en los Andes/Paintings of Colonial Cusco: Artistic Splendor in the Andes, published as separate Spanish and English-language editions (Haynanka Ediciones, 2015). Her essays appear in a range of journals and edited volumes, including Colonial Latin American ReviewThe AmericasAllpanchis, and RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics, among others. She is currently writing a new book entitled Insurgent Imaginaries: the Art of Rebellion in the Late Colonial Andes that explores the role of the visual arts in fomenting an insurgent imaginary in late 18th-century Peru and Bolivia within a context of inter-ethnic conflict and rebellion.

Jolene Rickard is a visual historian, artist and curator interested in the intersection of Indigenous knowledge and contemporary art, materiality, and ecocriticism with an emphasis on Hodinöhsö:ni aesthetics. Recent exhibitions include the Minneapolis Institute of Arts national exhibition, Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists, 2019-2021, Crystal Bridges Museum of Art, Art For a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950’s to Now,  2018-2020. She co-curated two of the four inaugural exhibitions of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (2004-2014). Jolene is on the editorial board of American Art, a 2020 Fulbright Research Scholar, an Associate Professor in the departments of History of Art and Art, and the former Director of the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program 2008-2020 (AIISP) at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Jolene is from the Tuscarora Nation, Hodinöhsö:ni Confederacy.

Open to the Cornell public. Adherence to university public health guidelines is required. Visit for the latest information.

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American Studies Program, Migrations, Sustainability

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#cashum, #amstcal, #cascal, arthistory



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Melissa Totman

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Jolene Rickard and Nandi Cohen-Aponte 

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Cornell University

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Dept. Web Site

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