Monday 25 November 18:00 - 20:00

Royal College of Art
Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre
1 Hester Road
SW11 4AN

Tickets Unavailable
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2019 Peter Dormer Lecture: Jenni Sorkin

Performing & Visual Arts

2019 Peter Dormer Lecture
Between Abjection and the Object: Body Work in the 1990s

Reception with drinks to follow.

The Peter Dormer Lecture is the UK’s major annual applied arts lecture, held in memory of Peter Dormer, the writer and critic who died in 1996. Organised by a committee of his friends and colleagues and hosted by the Royal College of Art, the lecture aims to continue the debate about applied art and society that was central to Dormer’s concerns.

Peter Dormer’s writings embraced art, architecture, design, technology and education; and his critical and curatorial work helped to promote the crafts into the freeflowing currents of postmodern visual culture. This connectivity is something these lectures celebrate and promote – previous speakers have embraced architecture, ceramics and modernism, the implications of digital technology, craft history and criticism, and design innovation.

This year's talk traces a history of craft practices and object making that centered on the body as both a source of stimulus and site of contestation for addressing urgent questions of gender and sexuality during the decade when identity politics elided with a new materiality in artistic production.


Jenni Sorkin is Associate Professor of History of Art & Architecture at University of California, Santa Barbara. She writes on the intersections between gender, material culture, and contemporary art, working primarily on women artists and underrepresented media, and lectures and publishes widely. She is the author of Live Form: Women, Ceramics and Community (University of Chicago Press, 2016), which examines the confluence of gender, artistic labor, and the history of post-war ceramics. She received her PhD in the History of Art from Yale University in 2010 and is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Modern Craft. She is the recipient of fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies (2014-15), the Center for Craft (2012), the Getty Research Institute (2010-11), and the ACLS/Luce Fellowship in American Art (2008).

Elaine Reichek (American, b. 1943)
Navajo (1992)
Mixed media installation


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