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The Visiting Artist and Scholar Program presents Claire Farago

April 4 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm MDT

Thursday, April 4, 2024

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. – Meeting with a general audience, The Stein Luminary in the CVA

6:00 – 7:30 p.m. – Public talk, “Taking Responsibility in the Age of Capital: How the European Discourse on Art Shaped Accounts of Human Exceptionalism,” ILC 118

The Visiting Artist and Scholar Program at Boise State is delighted to present Claire Farago from the University of Colorado, Boulder, for two separate public lecture events. Both events are free and open to the public.

At the 6:00 public lecture, Farago will present on “Taking Responsibility in the Age of Capital: How the European Discourse on Art Shaped Accounts of Human Exceptionalism.”

On the topic, Farago says, “The responsibility of individuals to society has shifted in the current era when ‘the foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health, and the quality of life worldwide’ are eroding and in danger of collapse, to cite a report issued by the United Nations in 2019 based on input from 300 contributing authors who assessed the impact of economic development on nature to estimate future effects. Is it really the case that human exceptionalism is a product of seventeenth-century secular European philosophy, as writers on the Anthropocene routinely insist? In this talk, I will examine the longer history of the idea that humans possess unique cognitive powers that enable them to shape nature successfully to meet their own needs. I will pursue the question of how accounts of human exceptionalism initiated by Aristotle 2500 years ago shaped modern European concepts of art in the sixteenth century as it became entangled with debates over the humanity of indigenous people in the Americas and early global capitalism dependent on dehumanized labor and the extraction of material resources tied to environmental destruction.”

Farago taught Early Modern art, theory, and criticism until her retirement in 2017 as Professor Emerita. She remains an active scholar in the international arena. In 2022, she presented papers in Berlin, Dresden, Heidelberg, Los Angeles, London, Ottawa, and at the College Art Association annual conference in New York. In her three decades of teaching and service to the Department, she held various administrative posts, including Director of Graduate Studies for Art History, Assistant Chair for Undergraduate Studies and Coordinator of Art History.