Left to Right: Katie Schwartz, Cortney Barko, and Rachel Trusty present at part of "The Woman Visualized" panel at the Midwest Pop Culture Conference.
Today I presented my research on Lesbian artists in the early feminist movement as part of a panel called "The Woman Visualized" at the Midwest Popular Culture Conference. My presentation: "The Lavender Menace Makes: Lesbian Art in the Feminist Movement" focused on why and how lesbians were marginalized in both the mainstream feminist and feminist art movements. It also described different approaches to aesthetics and materials that lesbians used in their work and how these were influenced by the contemporary movements of the day (Minimalism, Conceptual Art), Gay Art, and Feminist Art. I also discussed how much of the lesbian art aesthetic was a result of their exclusion, negative stereotypes around lesbians in culture, and legal rhetoric and limitations put forth by Congress at the time.
Katie Schwartz, an English professor from Southeast Missouri State University, presented on the visual history and impact of Cinderella's Slipper. Her presentation was entitled "If the Shoe Fits: A Visual Investigation of Cinderella's Slipper". Schwartz presented not only the traditional views of Cinderella's Slipper but newer contemporary views and incarnations that update the "slipper" object to newer object that embody more feminist agendas.
Cortney Barko is the current president of the MPCA and an English professor at the West Virginia Institute of Technology. Her presentation "Can You Seem Me?: The Hidden Self-Portraits of Flemish Still-Life Painter Clara Peeters" examined the Flemish painter in the context of her time. Barko argued that Peeters paintings were revolutionary due to their inclusion of the artist and that the artist was a woman.