Prof. Rebecca VanDiver wins Chancellor’s Award for Research on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Rebecca VanDiver, associate professor of history of art and architecture, won the Chancellor’s Award for Research on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, which recognizes excellence in research, scholarship or creative expression that specifically advances understanding of equity, diversity and inclusion. Prof. VanDiver was honored for her book, Designing a New Tradition: Lois Mailou Jones and the Aesthetics of Blackness, published by Penn State Press in 2020. VanDiver offers a new perspective on the art and career of Lois Mailou Jones, a well-known artist who has not received adequate scholarly attention. VanDiver considers the importance of Africa for Jones’ work and examines the broader roles played by class, gender, and politics in construction of African American art histories as a whole. “Tracing Jones’ aesthetic transformations along a biographical arc, Rebecca offers a new framework for thinking about the connection between America and Africa and the role of the African diaspora in the creation of African American artistic identity,” Diermeier said.