Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Today's blog is a brief addition to yesterday's. In that I recommended two of my CLPs as embodying the messages I want to pass on to young scholars in East Asian art history, giving them some sense of what the field has gone through over the decades of my participation in it, and some (quite partisan) thoughts on where it might go from here, and on what I feel strongly should not be lost. One more recommended reading should be added, since it fills out the messages of those two. This is *CLP 178, the talk that I gave at the conclusion of the "Returning to the Shore" symposium held in Berkeley on April 28th, organized by my former students to honor my new octagenarian status. It includes, in particular, a citation from toward the end of an essay by Thomas Crow on art history as practiced in the U.S., which rings very true for me, but is stated more authoritatively than I could do it. I am happy to assume the role in which all this casts me (a role noted appreciatively in the anonymous note quoted in yesterday's blog) of representing, perhaps, a Retarded Art History. In an age when problematic or outright wrong directions are so open and tempting, Retarded Art History may well be as useful a corrective as, say, Slow Foods. James Cahill