Sheridan-RISD Museum Workshop: The Awkward Object

Objects are, in a basic sense, awkward. They resist absorption into the narratives that those who have power endeavor to spin around them. We reckon with this awkwardness in ethical terms: The recognition of an object as colonial plunder is also, simultaneously, a recognition that the object was not fully cloaked by the aesthetic discourse in which it had been wrapped. We also reckon with it in practical terms, as educators: The object that is available to us always exceeds the point that we are trying to make. In this guided discussion, led by Jeffrey Moser, Assistant Professor of History of Art and Architecture at Brown University, we will explore practical strategies for addressing these twin facets of the awkward object. Using a series of case studies from the RISD Museum, we will think collectively about ways of helping students apprehend and articulate the awkwardness of objects for themselves. Please register for this event.