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Profile: Maud Lavin, MA in Modern Art History, Theory, and Criticism, MA in Visual and Critical Studies, Faculty

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Maud Lavin

MA in Modern Art History, Theory, and Criticism, MA in Visual and Critical Studies


PhD City University of New York Graduate Center in art history, M.A. University of Pennsylvania in art history, B.A. magna cum laude Radcliffe College, Harvard University in visual and environmental studies. Professor Lavin has received awards for her writing, including a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Personal statement

I'm a writer and publish in a variety of venues and styles. I recently published a book of creative nonfiction, The Oldest We've Ever Been: Seven True Stories of Midlife Transitions. I'm the editor and one of the co-authors. Other contributors include Calvin Forbes, chair of SAIC's Writing Program and writers in Chicago, New York, Santa Barbara, and Tucson.

My book Clean New World, on design, culture, and politics, originally published with MIT Press, recently came out in Korean. Currently I'm working on a book for MIT Press called Women, Aggression, Images. I began it last year on a Guggenheim Fellowship and am deep into it at this point.

I encourage students to develop their practices, visual or written or both, in ways that involve public display, whether through publishing or exhibiting. I edited a book a few years ago, The Business of Holidays, that was co-written with graduate students at SAIC; we published it with Monacelli Press in New York.

For The Business of Holidays book, designer (and then, graduate student) Alyson Beaton started by writing one essay on the made-up holiday Festivus (from the Seinfeld TV show). She did most of the photography for the book, was its photo editor and one of the co-designers, and a great deal of the visual wit in the book is hers.

Working in an arts environment has impacted my research -- It's encouraged me to see writing and its forms as creative explorations.

Current Interests

I’m currently working on a book on Lust and Aggression about contemporary U.S. images of  women’s lust and aggression in art and mass culture.  Pilates.  Swimming.  Goofing off.  Reading mysteries.

All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Institute.

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