General Information

The Visual Culture Symposium is an annual event hosted by the Visual Culture Student Group at Wayne State University. The symposium is meant to showcase academic projects and artist talks from graduate students in a variety of disciplines. The conference additionally features a keynote address from a visiting scholar doing critical work in visual culture.

You can find our 2019 Conference Program here.

This year’s conference will take place on the campus of Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Student panels will take place from 9:00 - 1:15 in the Wayne State University Student Center, Room 020. Lunch will be provided for participants and attendees in the Community Arts Auditorium from 1:30 to 2:30. This will be proceeded by our Film Screening & Roundtable Discussion from 2:30 to 5:15. The event will conclude with a talk from keynote speaker Katherine Behar from 5:30 to 7:00. Her lecture, “Digitally Divided: On Data and Divisiveness,” will be followed by a question and answer period.

The Visual Culture Symposium is free and open to the public. Should you have further questions, please email Molli Spalter at

Welcome Event / Critical Theory Reading Group

Conference participants and guests are welcome to join us for a special meeting of the Critical Theory Reading Group on Thursday, April 11th, from 7:00pm - 9:00pm at Common Pub. The Critical Theory Reading Group will convene for drinks, dinner, and informal discussion around scholarly work related to the conference theme. The readings will specifically focus on the intersection between feminist theory and object-oriented ontology. Our texts include the following:

Critical Theory Reading Group is dedicated to reading and interpreting challenging work in a “low stakes” setting; our meetings are meant to be fluid in structure and flexible in inclusiveness (all levels of theoretical “knowledge”—or none at all—are welcome.) While we certainly encourage everyone to read the texts, please do not let a lack of preparation prevent your participation. In other words, get through what you can and ask questions about the rest.

For more information on the Critical Theory Reading Group, or to let us know you are coming, check out our Facebook event page. Should you have further questions, please email Diana Rosenberger at

Recommended Readings

We are in the process of compiling a dossier of recommended texts for this year’s symposium. Some readings are meant to facilitate a deeper engagement with this year’s theme, The Visual Logic/s of Feminism/s (see Kate Manne’s introduction to Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny.) Others are meant to supplement specific components of the conference program, including our screening of A Question of Silence (such as Anneke Smelik’s article) and Katherine Behar’s keynote lecture (like Tung-Hui Hu’s article on Behar and other artists working in contemporary digital culture.) You’ll find most of the readings below, but please check back for updates and/or additional texts.