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Foucault: Art, Histories, and Visuality in the 21st Century

Foucault Poster showing dates, location and speakers.

Webinar Link: 

Symposium Details:

About the Event:

OCAD University is pleased to host the academic symposium Foucault: Art, Histories, and Visuality in the 21st Century, organized by Dr. Anton Lee, NSCAD University and Dr. Catherine M. Soussloff, UBC & University of California Santa Cruz, in collaboration with Dr. Charles Reeve, OCAD University. 

The French philosopher Michel Foucault’s (1926–84) work has greatly influenced artists and art scholars in many ways, from reimagining subjectivity to scrutinizing art institutions. Owing to the posthumous publications and archival discoveries, Foucault’s oeuvre continues to shape current discussions on methodological, political, and ethical assumptions regarding visualities and art histories. The symposium proposes to reassess Foucault’s legacies in the fields of art research and creation from critical perspectives informed by urgent issues, such as decolonization, race, gender, post-truth, artificial intelligence, and diaspora. We will ask: How has Foucault’s thinking—ultimately concerned with human existence in a time of crisis—emerged from and contributed to the visual arts and material culture?

The symposium is part of the World Congress “Foucault: 40 Years After,” a global series of events commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the philosopher’s death ( It promises to further collaboration across disciplines and institutions by bringing a diverse group of speakers from across Canada and the United States, who draw broadly from art history, museology, aesthetics, critical theory, media studies, visual culture, art education, and research-creation.

We thank the peoples of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishinaabe, and the Huron-Wendat, on whose unceded lands the event will be held. The event is made possible by the generous support of sponsors: OCAD University, NSCAD University, Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art at Concordia University, the French Embassy in Canada, the Department of Visual Studies at the University of Toronto Mississauga, the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism at Western University, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. 

Please register in advance for in-person and/or online attendance on Eventbrite: Registration Form