cavendish beach prince edward island

Northern Imaginaries

July 28, 2020

Join us for two presentations that examine how the North—variously conceived as the Arctic, Canada, and even upstate New York and northern New England—was a “topography of the imagination”: visually stunning and emotionally powerful but also marked with personal and cultural values.

Dr. Donna Cassidy presents a talk that suggests the dual, seemingly contradictory strains of the poetic and the ideological in the art and writing of several early 20th century modernists who worked in the North Atlantic—Rockwell Kent, Gertrude Käsebier, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Marsden Hartley. In their representations of the North, they went beyond the neo-Romanticism and personal expression associated with modernism to engage with culture of the time—its antimodernism, gender ideals, and imperialism.

Dr. Elizabeth Bischof presents a talk that focuses on recovery work to be done on late-19th and early-twentieth century female photographers—both amateur and professional. This recovery work offers alternate worldviews, as we find coastal women in the North Atlantic looking both inward and outward with their cameras—documenting rapidly changing environments and lifeways. Dr. Bischof has been engaged in recovery work for the past few years in both Maine and Iceland, i.e., a journey up the Eastern Coast of Iceland to Djupivogur in search of Nicoline Weywadt, Iceland’s first female photographer.