Seth Brodsky, Interim Director (academic year 2018-19)
Contact Seth: firstname.lastname@example.org
Seth Brodsky is Associate Professor of Music and the Humanities at the University of Chicago. He is the author of "From 1989, or European Music and the Modernist Unconscious" (California, 2017), and has published on such topics as opera, influence, and the music of John Cage and Benjamin Britten.
Brodsky’s scholarly and critical work pursues a number of related lines of inquiry. The first concerns music of the 20th and 21st centuries, in particular the field of “composerly production,” with all the openness this connotes: how is “the composer” constructed, and how does she function culturally, discursively, technologically, mythically? A second line of inquiry involves the role of unconscious processes, particularly as figured in psychoanalytic discourse, in the making and experiencing of music. Current projects revolve around the notoriously slippery concept of repetition. In particular, I’m interested in thinking about aesthetic modernism less as a proverbial “search for the new” then as a larger project in resisting or “breaking” repetition, whether it be the repetition of forms, laws, and languages, of genres and styles, or of themes, patterns, motives, etc. What ramifications does this resistance have for music as a repetitive practice—as a way of practicing repetition, but also of performing its very possibility?
Brodsky earned his PhD from the Eastman School of Music, and his B.A. from Wake Forest University.
Jacqueline Najuma Stewart, Director (on leave 2018-19)
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Jacqueline Stewart is Professor in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies and the college. Her research and teaching explore African American film cultures from the origins of the medium to the present, as well as the archiving and preservation of moving images, and “orphan” media histories, including nontheatrical, amateur, and activist film and video. She directs the Southside Home Movie Project and is co-curator of the L.A. Rebellion Preservation Project at the UCLA Film and Television Archive. She also serves as an appointee to the National Film Preservation Board. She is currently researching the racial politics of moving image preservation and is also completing a study of the life and work of African American actor/writer/director Spencer Williams.
Stewart is the author of Migrating to the Movies: Cinema and Black Urban Modernity, which has achieved recognition from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. She participated in the Public Voices Thought Leadership Fellowship Program, offered by Northwestern University, and the OpEd Project. She has also been awarded fellowships from the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University, and the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture Scholars-in-Residence Program.
Stewart earned her AM and PhD in English from the University of Chicago and an AB in English with interdisciplinary emphasis from Stanford University.
Zachary Cahill, Curator
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Over the last several years, Zachary Cahill has been actively engaged in developing dynamic arts programming at the University of Chicago, particularly in his role as Open Practice Committee Coordinator in the Department of Visual Arts from 2007-2016, where he also served as a Lecturer. Zachary is an accomplished interdisciplinary artist. Since 2009, he has been working on the long-term project the USSA, an exhibition-based fictional narrative relating to concepts of nation building. He has had solo exhibitions at sites including the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany; the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; the Smart Museum of Art; and Threewalls, Chicago. His work has recently been included in Broken Flag at Iceberg Projects, Chicago (2016); Goethe Institut's Kultursymposium, Weimar, Germany (2016); The Works: Artists in and from Chicago at CAB Brussels, Belgium (2015); Magic Mountain at the MCA Santa Barbara (2015); the 8th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art (2014), among other exhibitions in the US and Europe. In 2012, Zach was a participant in The Retreat - dOCUMENTA (13) at the Banff Centre in Canada. His writings have appeared in international contemporary art journals such as: Afterall (where he also served as a co-editor), Artforum, Artforum.com, The Exhibitionist, Frieze, and Mousse. In 2015, Newcity magazine named Zachary to its Art 50 listing of Chicago's Visual Vanguard. Zachary earned his BFA in Sculpture from Cornell University in 1995 and his MFA from the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago in 2007.
Mike Schuh, Assistant Director, Fellowships and Operations
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In addition to his work with the Gray Center, Mike is co-founder of Regards, a contemporary art gallery in Chicago, and has worked in exhibition planning and archiving at Susanne Veilmetter Los Angeles Projects, and the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. While in St. Louis he was also a co-founder of the exhibition and performance venue fort gondo.compound for the arts. As an artist he has participated in the exhibitions Heavenly Choice at the President's Gallery, Harold Washington College; MASS TECH ERR, at Beverly, St. Louis; The Dead of Winter at PSA Projects, Chicago; Wall Text, at the Logan Center for the Arts, Chicago; Two Histories of the World at William H. Cooper Mfg. and the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago; Occupation at Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago; Interruptions at No 1, Brooklyn, and Broken Umbrellas at Laurel Gitlen Gallery, New York. Mike studied filmmaking at Syracuse University, where he earned his BFA in 2001. He earned his MFA at the University of Chicago in Visual Art in 2009. Mike was also an artist in residence in 2010 at the Banff Art Centre.
Sabrina Craig, Film and Video Projects Manager
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Sabrina has been a film programmer in Chicago for over 20 years, developing community- based screenings, innovative film programs, and opportunities to engage with media artists at multiple sites, including the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN), Taos Talking Pictures Film Festival (Taos, NM), Stony Island Arts Bank (Chicago), University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts, and colleges and community centers throughout the Midwest. As program director for Women in the Director’s Chair, the largest festival of films and videos by women directors, she organized the annual 10-day festival, curated a year-round program of screenings and workshops, and developed a touring festival that traveled to dozens of campuses nationwide. She curated “A veces el viento cambia de aire,” a showcase of contemporary Mexican experimental film that screened in festivals across the US. As program manager for Black Cinema House, Sabrina worked with curator Jacqueline Stewart to present a weekly line-up of compelling screenings and visiting artists, as well as community filmmaking courses. As a board member of the Peace and Justice Radio Project, she developed a youth media literacy curriculum used in Chicago public high schools and the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center. She served two years as Chair of the LSC of her daughter’s Chicago public school. Sabrina earned her MA in Radio/TV/Film from Northwestern University, and her BA in Language and Society from Pomona College.
Naomi Blumberg, Managing Editor of Portable Gray
Naomi Blumberg is the Program Manager for the Arts, Science + Culture Initiative and the Managing Editor of Portable Gray. Before coming to UChicago, Naomi was an editor of arts and culture at Encyclopaedia Britannica, following many years working as a curator and exhibition coordinator at art and history museums including the Chicago History Museum, the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, and the McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College. She holds a BA from Barnard College in art history and a Master's from Tufts University in art history and museum studies.