Dream Projects – introduction

We all have them. File folders with assorted clippings. Post-it notes on the computer screen. Wild ideas scrawled on legal pads after a particularly good lecture. Promises made to confidantes over drinks at the conference hotel bar. These are the beginnings of our dream projects: research ideas that we’d pursue if only… If only we …






Dianne Harris, Professor, Department of History; Dean, College of Humanities; University of Utah

In 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his powerful “I have a dream” speech on the National Mall in Washington, DC. More recently, Deray McKesson, a leader of the Black Lives Matter movement, has regularly sent an end-of-day message to his Twitter followers: “Sleep well y’all. Remember to Dream.” I hear a recording of the former, and I weep. I read the latter, and I weep. There …






Leo G. Mazow, J. Harwood and Louise B. Cochrane Curator of American Art; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Dream Project: Exhibiting Art for Your Sake   I have long been interested in the NBC radio program on art, Art for Your Sake, which aired for much of 1939 and 1940.1 Airing on Saturday evenings, promoted with aggressive marketing, and one of the first purposeful intersections of art and sound to take advantage of the …






Shawn Michelle Smith, Professor, Department of Visual and Critical Studies School of the Art Institute of Chicago

The question of a dream project, for me, is not about a specific object of study, or even a particular mode of production, but about the scale of inquiry. I dream about an undertaking that would compel me to learn, and stretch, and grow the way I did as a graduate student, when I was …






Kenneth Haltman, Professor, School of Visual Arts University of Oklahoma

The Trouble with Bachelard I first encountered the poetics of the imagination the year I graduated from college and it could not have happened at a better time. Teaching on a Fulbright in a French lycée, word of mouth led me to attend an informal workshop in art theory and practice in a dusty classroom …