Past Shutz Lectures

The Marilyn T. and Byron C. Shutz Lecture Series started in Arts and Literature
Organized by the departments of Media, Art and Design and English, this program brought together speakers from around the nation with expertise in the fields of studio art, art history, composition, rhetoric, creative writing, and literature.

2023-2024 Shutz Lecture Series Events

Marilyn T. and Byron C. Shutz Lecture Series in Art and Literature

Thursday, September 21, 2023

The verb “to curate” originates in Latin and means “to take care.” It is now broadly applied to a wide range of acts of selecting and displaying not only artworks, but also many other types of images and objects in both physical and virtual space. While curating has always implied attentive processes of looking after artifacts, the term has increasingly acquired connections with acts of social care woven around art in exhibition settings. The proliferation of socially engaged art practices and growing concerns over deepening social divisions have considerably contributed to an expanded curatorial agenda. The Covid-19 pandemic has rendered the need for curators’ commitment to fostering social consciousness even better evident. This panel seeks to address how curatorial acts can constitute or mediate radical acts of care. It inquires into the most effective ways in which curatorial approaches can fuel equitable partnerships between artists and communities. It also explores how curatorial acts will transform in conjunction with recent advances in AI.

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Thursday, October 26, 2023

This session explores how the emergence of mass-market media shaped the careers of women writers, the establishment of new reading audiences, and the development of new literary genres in nineteenth-century Britain.

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Thursday, November 9, 2023

This in-person event featured poet and essayist, Diana Goetsch, who presented her acclaimed memoir, which chronicles the budding trans communities of the late 20th century, and the light it sheds on today’s struggle for trans equality. This Body I Wore, hailed as “achingly beautiful” by The New York Times Book Review, takes readers on the most personal of journeys—the working out of one’s gender identity—and its public ramifications, over a span of five decades of national change. The “newest minority” in American culture seems to have come out of nowhere—except it didn’t.

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2022-2023 Shutz Lecture Series Events

The theme for the 2022-2023 series was

Healing in Times of Strife: Therapeutic Dialogue through Art, Pedagogy, and Writing

Thursday, September 29, 2022

This presentation brings to light the reductive ways in which the technologies and bureaucracies of schooling attempt to flatten our differences. Dr. Jesse Stommel critiques the notion that students are interchangeable—that whether they are food insecure, queer, or homeless is of no real consequence to a system (of grades, tests, and credentials) that attempts to rank them tidily against one another. He advocates for identifying more ways to involve students in the design of their own learning. In view of this, Dr. Stommel encourages educators to design for the least privileged, most marginalized students, the ones more likely to have felt isolated even before the pandemic. He advocates for writing new policies and imagining new ways forward for students already facing exclusion.

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Thursday, October 20, 2022

The pandemic and the social justice movements of 2020 revealed continuing racial disparities in communities across the United States. Dr. Sheryll D. Cashin invites attendees to engage in a conversation about redlining and residential segregation in hopes of a more integrated and equitable future that leads to community healing in times of strife. By exploring the local history of redlining and its legacies with creative writers, lawyers, historians, and urban designers, she provides participants with a moment for reflection on this important history. Dr. Cashin suggests that we can envision and plan for a better future together by accounting for multiple perspectives and recognizing the ongoing inequities in our communities.

Watch recorded panel

In collaboration with the Educate-Organize-Advocate (EOA) Conference, Shutz presented the following two events as part of the inaugural UMKC Social Justice Month in October 2022.

The EOA Conference encouraged participants to familiarize themselves with the Emergent Strategy philosophy and embrace the real power of change. It called for deepening relationships, building trust, and consolidating political partnerships. Attendees learned about the principles of Emergent Strategy, including adaptation, interdependence, collaborative ideation, fractal thinking, transformative justice, and resilience. Speakers used science fiction as a tool for strengthening imagination and invite participants to think beyond binaries and linear, short-term outcomes. The goal was to foster connection by considering how cultural practices such as song circles, altars/community power tables, and spaces for play and dance help us meet essential spiritual and emotional needs.

Emergent Strategy Keynote by Mia Herndon

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Emergent Strategy Workshops

Thursday, October 13, 2022 - with Kawanza Billy

Thursday, October 27, 2022 - with chelsea cleveland

Thursday, February 2, 2023

In this workshop, Marie Thompson explored the importance of storytelling in communicating the human experience.

Watch recorded workshop

Planetary Consciousness: Art, Embodied Presence, and Ecology

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Panelists Janine Antoni, Victoria Vesna, and Kate Mondloch engaged in a conversation concerning inquiries into open-ended practices of art making and encouraged audience members to reflect on the role of aesthetics, bodily awareness, interpersonal consciousness in healing practices.

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Thursday, February 16, 2023

Panelists Sandi L. Wisenberg and Monica Prince engaged attendees in a conversation about how laughter eases tension, delivers a new perspective, changes power dynamics, and provides a respite.

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Book list

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Traumatic events can impact multiple members of a community. While community resilience efforts have often focused on preventing trauma from occurring, prevention is only one aspect of resilience. We must consider how we navigate and heal from trauma, building safe and trustworthy relationships that prioritize equity and justice in our communities. Come prepared to consider how you can connect with various communities to respond to trauma in innovative and strengths-based ways.

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2021-2022 Shutz Lecture Series Events

text graphic that says SPEAK UP! Building Justice through Art, Pedagogy, and Writing

For its inaugural year, the Marilyn T. and Byron C. Shutz Lecture Series was entitled

SPEAK UP! Building Racial Justice through Art, Pedagogy, and Writing.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

This roundtable explored interconnections among art, cultural appropriation, and indigenous rights. It was moderated by Lisa Tatonetti (Professor of English at Kansas State University) and featured Gregg Deal (artist and activist), Kate Morris (Professor of Art History at Santa Clara University), and Malea Powell (Professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures at Michigan State University).

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Thursdays, October 14, 21, and 28, 2021

This three-part workshop encouraged participants to interrogate their biases while developing and implementing antiracist classroom assessment practices. It was led by Antonio Byrd (Assistant Professor of English at University of Missouri-Kansas City), Virginia Schwarz (Assistant Professor English at San Francisco State University), and Lizbett Tinoco (Assistant Professor of English at Texas A&M University).

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Thursday, November 4, 2021

This panel explored how photographs have shaped the perception of Black subjects and historical events. Artist Isaac Julien discussed his recent film installation Lessons of the Hour which reimagines the life of statesman and freed slave Frederick Douglass. Art historian Krista Thompson examined the circulation of a photograph depicting Paul Bogle, the leader of the 1865 Morant Bay Rebellion, who called for justice for all the people of Jamaica. The conversation was moderated by Cristina Albu (Associate Professor of Contemporary Art History at University of Missouri-Kansas City).

Thursday, February 17, 2022

In this seminar, participants engaged in anti-racist creative writing strategies, empowering students to claim ownership not only of their work, but also of their working relationships with professors and peers. The session offered 20 specific, practical take-aways to re-conceptualize critique and encourage everyday anti-racist action. For more information, please visit The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop website.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

This panel addressed how curatorial practice can contribute to racial equity and enhance solidarity between diverse audience groups. It brought into discussion the strategies used by museums to acknowledge the legacy of colonial histories, dismantle exclusionary policies, and serve the interests of specific local communities. Led by Stephanie Fox Knappe (The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art), Valerie Cassel Oliver (Virginia Museum of Fine Arts), and Jade Powers (Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art). The conversation was moderated by Cristina Albu (Associate Professor of Contemporary Art History at University of Missouri-Kansas City).

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Thursday, April 14, 2022

This panel explored how the use of digital humanities allows for the recovery of black voices through the scholarship of Kim Gallon (Associate Professor of History at Purdue University), Nicole N. Aljoe (English and Africana Studies at Northeastern University), and Adrian Wisnicki (Associate Professor of English and Faculty Fellow of the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, University of Nebraska-Lincoln).

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Thursday, April 28, 2022

This panel examined how painful memories of racial abuses are integrated into texts and material objects which speak to the prolonged psychological and physical impact of social injustice. It brought together Nicole R. Fleetwood (Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU), Sara Sonié Joi Thompson-Ruffin (fabric artist and designer), and Kenturah Davis (artist). The conversation was moderated by Cristina Albu (Associate Professor of Contemporary Art History at University of Missouri-Kansas City).

Watch recorded panel