Professor Jennifer Terpstra
Professor - Department of Art
How do you use all that you have learned?
It took a while to connect my feminist perspective with my study of studio art and art history. Interestingly, I learned about the influential art historian Linda Nochlin not from my Art History professors, but from my Women’s Studies professors. Nochlin died recently, and in remembrance of her groundbreaking essay “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists” (published in 1971), I re-read it. It’s still powerful. The history of painting is a lineage of white men, but thanks to Nochlin and other feminist scholars/curators/gallerists/professors/artists, what we now write about/exhibit/teach is much more diverse.
Why should others care about Women & Gender studies?
I referred to academic freedom (which means so many things) – the fluidity of learning that happens in Women & Gender studies. I think it’s healthy for all of us to imagine diverse perspectives, try to get outside of our skin, intellectually, creatively, maybe even soulfully. There is a core principle of respect that exists in Women & Gender studies, and it relates to figuring out what it means to be human.