Sick Women: The Chronic-poetics of Feminist Art History - Session for CAA

August 18th 2020

Conceived in the ‘lockdown’ period of the global virus that brought the world’s inequalities into lethal, shocking focus, this panel, convened by Blackshaw and Dr Alice Butler, adapts artist Johanna Hedva's ‘Sick Woman Theory’ of 2016 as a lens through which to expand feminist art history. Whilst contemporary feminist art and writing has cared for the sick woman, their absence in art history is in urgent need of redeeming. Emphasising experimental and interdisciplinary methodologies and writing practices, this multi-periodic panel asks: what form might a defiantly sick feminist art history take? What role could it play in emerging theorisations of the critical medical humanities? How could it transform our understanding of the sick woman? How could the sick woman, who speaks chronically across time, revolutionise art history? And how might we, as feminist art historians, care for her?

Kokoschka Bessie Bruce 1910