Thiel College event hosting professor to discuss art history’s relevance to today’s social issues

GREENVILLE, Pa.—Associate Professor of Art History Cindy Persinger, Ph.D., from California University of Pennsylvania, will speak at the Thursday, Jan. 24 Common Hour about “Why Pursuing Socially Engaged Art History Matters.”

Her presentation will include how historical knowledge of art is produced as well. The Common Hour will take place in Stamm Hall in the James Pedas Communication Center starting at 11:15 a.m.

Persinger’s message to the audience is that art history is relevant today. She will discuss that, in some instances, artists intend to have their works be socially engaging to viewers, and, in others, the art historian studying the works can bring attention to divisions, differences and social injustices. While many articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals about the concepts of social justice, Persinger poses the question of who would read an art history essay if one would be published in such a journal. Her presentation will include answers to this question as well as explanations for why pursuing a socially engaged art history is important to those in the field as well as those interested in the topic.

Persinger has been an associate professor of art history at California University of Pennsylvania since 2010. She received her Bachelor of Arts in French and a Master of Arts in French translation both from Kent State University, a Master of Arts in art history from the University of Pittsburgh, and a doctorate in art history with a certification in cultural studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Her research focuses on art history in the United States and its relationship to 20th century political and social issues.

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Thiel College is a private liberal arts institution founded in the Lutheran tradition. Located in Greenville, Pa., the College offers 60 majors and minors, 25 varsity sports, and a 10:1 student-faculty ratio to more than 900 students. A dedicated faculty paired with dynamic research and internship opportunities produce numerous graduate school and job placements. Coeducational from its beginnings, the College remains committed to combining tradition with innovation as it celebrates 150 years.