Brushes with History: Imagination and Innovation in Art Education History (BWH)—a conference that was held in November 2015 at Teachers College (TC) with the goal of providing a forum for presentation and discussion of ideas, issues, information, and research approaches utilized in the historical investigation of art education within local and global contexts. During the 1980s and 1990s, a series of three conferences directed toward historical topics and issues in art education attracted many art educators to Pennsylvania State University. In the two decades since the last of these, only a few visual art educators have made historical research their primary focus. The last History of Art Education Conference took place at The Pennsylvania State University in 1995, following two similar-themed conferences in 1985 and 1989. No other conferences have occurred on history or historical research within art education since then, nationally or internationally. BWH bolstered the amount of historical research in the field, resulting in two special issues on historical research for Studies in Art Education and Journal of Visual Inquiry: Learning and Teaching in Art. In addition, a collection of essays was published as a text titled Revitalizing History: Recognizing the Struggles, Lives, and Achievements of African American and Women Art Educators by Vernon Press in 2017. While these events and publications provided a significant venue for conversations and building research capacity, it lacked a robust examination of the global, non-western and non-Anglophone contexts of art education.
Mapping international histories is relevant to understanding the histories of art education in global contexts. Mary Ann Stankiewicz (2007) suggested that an international history be organized in a variety of ways: geographically and politically; by historical periods; according to the formation of a national/cultural identity; or as a web of European-based influences. The use of postcolonial theory serves as a relevant theoretical framework for understanding several international histories from the perspective of the colonizer as well as the colonized. It further investigates contemporary effects in western and tricontinental cultures, making connections between past and present politics as well as the sociocultural effect of colonialism (Young, 2001, pp. 4-6). The emphasis of the conference is to foster and amplify the long-marginalized histories that have the potential for transforming the field of art education.
Historical research over the past 5O years in art education has primarily focused on Anglo-European and North American contexts. Missing from the contemporary discourse are inquiries into the history of art education from non-western, non Anglophone milieus. Mapping International Art Education Histories conference is to highlight these varied voices of research and scholarship to address the following questions:
Dr. Ami Kantawala (Teachers College, Columbia University) and Dr. Juan Carlos Castro (Concordia University, Montreal)