You’re Invited

Cranbrook Academy of Art’s Studio Council invites you to attend IDENTITY, a two-day symposium on January 28th and 29th, 2011.

A student organized symposium, IDENTITY presents a wide range of views from a variety of academic disciplines.  We hope you will join us for two days of presentations, conversations and events which engage artists and thinkers in unique points of view on this topic.  In conjunction with the program, there will be an exhibition of current work by Academy students in the Forum Gallery.

All presentations and panels will take place in the Cranbrook Institute of Science Auditorium.  Please park in the parking deck adjacent to the building.  For directions to the Auditorium, please visit:

FRIDAY January 28, 2011

3:00 pm : Welcome and Introductions

3:30 pm – 5:30 pm :  Presentations and Panel Discussion

Identity and Art, Design, Architecture

Gregory Kordsmeier

  • Ph.D. Candidate, University of Wisconsin, Department of Sociology
  • The Creation of Artistic Identity by Individuals on the Periphery of Art Worlds

Troy Oglesby

  • MFA Candidate, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Architecture Department
  • Rectifying Resource Relocation: a solution focused approach to designing for Internally Displaced Persons

Leslie Atzmon

  • Professor, Eastern Michigan University, Art Department, Graphic Design and Design History
  • Persuasive Identity (or Design Doesn’t Exist in a Vacuum, You Know!)

Doug Skidmore

  • MFA Candidate, Cranbrook Academy of Art Architecture Department
  • Design Contained: Saarinen vs. SANAA – the identity of art, design and architecture in synthetic practice today

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm : Identity Exhibition Opening and Speakers Reception (Forum Gallery)

SATURDAY January 29, 2011

10:00 am- 12:00 pm : Presentations and Panel Discussion

Identity and Place

Allison Rowe

  • MFA Candidate, California College of the Arts, Social Practice
  • Why Care About Canada? Canadian National Identity and its Natural Resources

Ilan Vit-Suzan

  • Ph.D. Candidate, University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture
  • Rome’s Indigitamenta and Teotihuacan’s “Masked Specialists: Political Control over Multi-ethnic Populations through Abstract Art

Robert Dorgan

  • Associate Professor and Director, Downtown Design Center in UNLV’s School of Architecture
  • Crafting Identity in Small Town America

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm : Presentations and Panel Discussion

Identity and Culture

Jeremy S. Joseph

  • Ph.D. Candidate, University of Wyoming: Department of Psychology
  • Changes in Self-Identity Following a Traumatic Experience

Natascha van der Zwan

  • Ph.D. Candidate, New School for Social Research, Department of Politics
  • Introducing the Worker-Owner: Organized Labor and the Identity Politics of Finance Capitalism

Petra Kuppers

  • Associate Professor, University of Michigan Department of English, Women’s Studies, Theatre and Dance, Art and Design
  • Cross-cultural Experiments at the Site of Anthropology, in the Space of Literature
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Call for Speakers


Identity is a symposium presented by the Student Studio Council of Cranbrook Academy of Art and will take place on January 28th and 29th , 2011 on the Art Academy Campus. The symposium will present and discuss perspectives on identity from the viewpoints of, but not limited to: psychology, economics, environmental studies, anthropology, philosophy, sociology, art, and art history.

We invite all MA, MS, MFA, M.Arch and Ph.D students, graduates, and others to submit proposals on the subject of Identity as it relates to contemporary society and your work. To be considered for inclusion please submit: a 200 word abstract of what you will address (or present) and a CV including your name, telephone number and email address.



The subject of identity has grown out of recent interest from the students of Cranbrook Academy of Art.  We see identity as a subject in much of our work, regardless of discipline.  This symposium is designed to create a broad discussion from many points of view – both inside and outside the art world.

Each participant will give a 10-15 minute presentation about his or her work, then take part in a discussion.  We expect 2-3 discussion panels, with the aim of bringing together thinkers from disparate backgrounds to discuss contemporary ideas of identity with the student body.  The symposium will also allow for informal time for conversation and exchange. Each speaker will receive an honorarium, accommodations in one of Cranbrook’s guest rooms or close by, and dinner with the students and other presenting speakers.

We would like to hear from individuals interested in considering the role of Identity from, but not limited to,  these perspectives:

  • ECONOMICS- how globalization and technology influence identity
  • PSYCHOLOGY- subjective vs. objective identity thought, PTSD or other Service related topics, environmental psychology
  • SOCIOLOGY- social networking, contemporary gender roles, nomadic lifestyles
  • ANTHROPOLOGY- past and present
  • ARCHEOLOGY- how do objects from the past inform who we are today
  • POLITICS- healthcare, foreign policy, national identity
  • ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES- green movement
  • PHILOSOPHY- philosophy of time

Cranbrook Academy of Art is a private graduate school of architecture, art and design.  We are 163 M.F.A. and Masters of Architecture candidates. The academy has an exceptional Critical Studies program, which exposes its students to a variety of topics through lectures and seminars with visiting artists and critics. The student body is building on this program to explore these ideas further from new vantage points by inviting scholars from outside the immediate “art world”.  We hope you’ll share your ideas with us.

For questions email:

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