history


AHGSA History

AHGSA was founded in 1984 in response to a growing need for a unified graduate student voice within Concordia University's Department of Art History. The first elected executive committee consisted of Monique Poirier as president, Nadine Corbel as vice-president, and Anne Page as secretary and treasurer. Throughout the years, the officers of AHGSA have endeavoured to provide its members with opportunities to come together in both social and academic settings.

During the 1980s and 1990s, AHGSA produced a monthly newsletter intended to inform students of art historical news and events, and was a key player in the organization of the Interuniversity Colloquium for Graduate Research in Art History, an annual event involving graduate students from Concordia University, McGill University, the Université du Québec à Montréal, the Université de Montréal, and the Université Laval. AHGSA's representatives also contributed to the creation of the Interuniversity Doctoral Program in Art History, which was established in 1997.

In the 2000s AHGSA began organizing its own colloquia and conferences, all of which have been open to graduate students from Canada and abroad and have addressed particular themes considered crucial to contemporary art history. An attempt to make these events more interdisciplinary has emerged as a response to the increasing interdisciplinarity of art historical studies. In recent years AHGSA has broadened its role by including Faculty Fine Arts graduate students in Concordia University's PhD in Humanities and Special Individualized programs.

In 2012 AHGSA strongly supported the Concordia GSA strike resolutions in response to the Quebec government's plans to increase the role of private financing of higher education, including increases in tuition fees. AHGSA members were active in the groudswell of student protests and strike actions, participating collectively in marches, addressing classes to inform graduate students of the issues and protest options, undertaking several red-square art interventions, organizing an alternative presentation day for students who opted not to give presentations in their graduate seminars, and creating the Red Box as an alternative for the submission of course work. AHGSA held weekly meetings through the second half of the winter semester to discuss the evolving situation, reconduct the strike mandate, and to devise strategies and provide support to students who either had graduate seminars or who were teaching undergraduate courses. Communiqués summarizing AHGSA's position and its strike activities were prominently published on AHGSA home page and these are reproduced below.

For a chronology of AHGSA executive committee members please see the Executive Committee page.

From the AHGSA Archives

Our archives bear the traces of the rapid transformations in graduate student life and communication technologies since the early 1980s as well as the central role the Concordia department has played in the development of the art history community in Quebec and Canada. Nonetheless, as the AHGSA motto of the early 90s indicates, the existential predicament of the art history ABD is ever constant: "Life is short, art long, opportunity fleeting, experience treacherous, judgement difficult."


AHGSA is born: The inaugural AHGSA Newsletter, Vol. 1 No. 1, November 1984. Remember mimeographs?

1st Year Ambition: AHGSA lobbies for a typewriter – and a room of its own to type theses in! They also get help from then Concordia Art History Prof. Laurier Lacroix.

It's 1988 and now-retired Concordia Art History Prof. Joan Acland is just becoming an art history graduate student along with Sylvie Gilbert, the current director of Artexte. Stanley Triggs, of Notman fame, joins part-time faculty.


The Newsletter discovers modern typesetting – and images, and Hippocrates – and Concordia welcomes Michael Fried.

Concordia
Professor Johanne Lamoureux welcomes Louis Marin to the J. Russell Harper Reading Room.

 

4th Colloquium, Université de Montréal, 1988

7th Colloquium, Concordia University, 1991

9th Colloquium, Université Laval, 1993

 

AHGSA Home-page Communiqués During the 2012 Quebec Student Strike

Student Strike Information

161918 339985966038796 1776143558 q12 March 2012– AHGSA held a general assembly on Monday, 12 March, at 10:30 AM, to discuss our position on last week’s GSA decision for an open-ended strike – mainly affecting class attendance. Fourteen out of fifty-eight AHGSA members attended, and of those a clear majority indicated that they supported the GSA strike mandate in principle. We know that some MA classes have also indicated the same support. Although attendance at the meeting comprised 24% of the membership, which far exceeds GSA and CSU quorum requirements, what was lacking were the voices of MA and PhD students who are currently completing coursework. Consequently, members who were at the assembly will be presenting the results of the vote as well as the comments below in all MA and PhD classes this week.

As we understand it, one of the main motivations for the strike is to assert our belief that as students we are not merely consumers of our education but rather participants. Through our presence in classes we contribute to the thinking and writing that is integral to scholarly discourse and that is ultimately, itself, the essential productive activity of the university and a social good.

The collective non-attendance of classes has the potential to assert this fact in an embodied way. However, we acknowledge that each of us has different stakes invested and so we both encourage and support all viewpoints. AHGSA has decided to continue to have weekly meetings in order to maintain this dialogue.

Weekly Strike Meeting: Mondays at 5:00 PM

We want to hear what you have to say about this and encourage you to come to next Monday’s meeting. We assume the lack of attendance at this week's assembly was the result of schedule conflicts and so we have tentatively scheduled next week’s meeting for 5:00 PM on Monday, 19 March 2012.

Do not hesitate to discuss these issues or suggest alternative times for the general assembly with the members visiting your classes.

If you have questions about the strike, please email AHGSA: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. " data-mce-href="mailto: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. "> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more general information, please also visit the GSA website the wordpress site of Fine art students on strike (FASOS).

AHGSA Graduate Conference This Week: 16 – 17 March

We invite you all to attend the AHGSA graduate conference, Situate Yourself, this Friday and Saturday. As a free, student-initiated and student-produced exhibition of and forum for research and intellectual exchange, open to all students and the public, this event constitutes an alternative student-run learning opportunity. Please come and support your colleagues. We are providing space during breaks for anyone or any group who would like to present a performance action or artistic gesture in support of the strike. Please contact Lindsay Cory if you want to plan something: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. " data-mce-href="mailto: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. "> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. "> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. " data-mce-href="mailto: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. " data-mce-href="mailto: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. "> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. "> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. " data-mce-href="mailto: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. "> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

161918 339985966038796 1776143558 q19 March 2012 – The weekly meeting of the GSA GA voted Monday to continue the open ended strike. They also amended last week’s strike resolution to clarify that the collective non-attendance of classes also included the non-submission of coursework in recognition that they are inseparable, and that to submit coursework while not attending class implies that class time is irrelevant.

At Monday’s AHGSA GA, attended by fourteen members, it was moved and voted to support today’s GSA amended strike resolution, stressing that submitting course work while not attending classes undermines the rationale for the strike as a pressure tactic.

The members also stressed the importance of participating in the demonstration on Thursday 22 March. It was agreed that AHGSA members would rally in front of the Bourgie Pavillion of the MMFA at 12 Noon before joining the larger march to Place du Canada leaving Concordia at 12:30.

Plans were also discussed regarding the holding of a student forum in which students could present their research to each other. More to come.

We reaffirmed the importance of meeting on a weekly basis, on Mondays at 5 PM. At the next meeting, it will be important to assess the outcome of the rally on the 22nd. We also propose, as other graduate associations within the university have done, to discuss more specifically how the current issues underlying the strike can be understood and voiced from our own disciplinary position – that is, as art historians.

Many AHGSA members are also part-time faculty and we wish the Department of Art History to note that CUPFA has clarified that it is not permitted to hold classes in alternative teaching spaces, even within the university (See here). Consequently, AHGSA members currently teaching cannot be expected to hold classes in locations other than the scheduled classroom.

161918 339985966038796 1776143558 q27 March 2012 – The GSA GA voted again this week to reconduct the strike, which we also reconfirmed by voete at the AGHSA GA. We then discussed what actions we could take to make the strike more effective. Five members currently in classes were present and discussion focused on the submission of assignments.

If collectively organized in a rigorous way, we believe that the submission of assignments can be used to exert significant pressure within the university in support of the strike action – up through departmental faculty and the chair to the dean and the provost.

We propose making a strong collective statement now, before the end of term and due dates for final papers, that no work will be submitted while the strike is in force.

 For this to be effective and safesolidarity is important. Penalizing an individual student is easy – but penalizing an entire program of students is next to impossible, especially with the approach we have devised, which will (1) leave plenty of time for negotiation before grades are actually due (and for faculty to demonstrate the support they have expressed in principle), and (2) will provide proof that work, while not submitted to faculty, has in fact been completed.

Here’s the plan: we propose to create the Red Drop Box, a locked drop box similar to the drop box fixed outside the department office for undergraduates – except of course that ours will be red. Oh, and the faculty will not have the key. Instead, the AHGSA president will. For additional security and time stamping, the AHGSA president has also established the AHGSA assignment email account This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. " data-mce-href="mailto: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. "> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. "> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. " data-mce-href="mailto: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. " data-mce-href="mailto: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. "> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. "> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. " data-mce-href="mailto: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. "> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . One pdf copy should be emailed to this account by the due date and one printed copy deposited in the Red Drop Box, which will be placed in the photocopy room.

 The Red Drop Box will allow us to ‘present’ the combined intellectual work of the graduate students to the department, and yet withhold it until the strike is over. Faculty have, informally, indicated that they ideologically support the strike. But it is our responsibility to make the first move. Only then can faculty indicate to the next administrative level that they support us. And it is only by moving this support up the administrative ladder that the government will be forced to negotiate.


161918 339985966038796 1776143558 q

2 April 2012 – The GSA once again reconducted the strike and the AHGSA GA followed suit by vote. We discussed progress on the Red Drop Box Action as well as plans for the 12 April Art History Grad Student Presentation Day. The Red Drop Box should be in place after Easter weekend. The current deadline for signing up for the 5-to-20-minute grad student presentations is 10 April.  For more information or to register for the presentation day, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. " data-mce-href="mailto: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. "> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ">Anja Borck. Since the Monday following Easter is a holiday, it was decided that the next meeting would be on Tuesday, 10 April, at 5 PM, in the Project Room.

161918 339985966038796 1776143558 q

17 April 2012 – In concord with the GSA, the AHGSA reconducted the strike at GAs on 10 and 17 April. The Grad Student Presentation Day was successfully held on Thursday 12 April, with three graduate students making presentations and receiving feedback from their peers. Work towards the installation and promotion of the Red Drop Box Action has continued and the box will be in place within the next few days. The next GA will be held on Monday, 23 April, at 5 PM, in the Project Room.

161918 339985966038796 1776143558 q

19 April 2012Red Drop Box Action. The Red Drop Box is now installed outside the AHGSA office, EV-3.784 – and it already contains several papers. We encourage AHGSA members to submit term papers and any other assignments to the Red Drop Box. This should be accompanied by a PDF version emailed to the AHGSA assignment email account:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. "> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. " data-mce-href="mailto: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. "> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Please indicate the course name and number and the instructor in the email. It is then important to notify the course instructor that your work has been submitted to the Red Drop Box and will be kept in trust by AHGSA for the duration of the strike. Please copy the email to the AHGSA assignment email address above. AHGSA will maintain a list of all the papers submitted.
Red-Box-combined2

Red Drop Box for Strike Suggestions and Opinions: Please also use the Red Drop Box as way of making anonymous suggestions to AHGSA regarding the strike, either for additional strike actions or activities that you think AHGSA should be considering or undertaking, or, more generally, to voice your opinion regarding AHGSA and the student strike.