UH Art Historian Sandra Zalman Named ACLS Fellow

ACLS Fellowship to Support Zalman’s Upcoming Book on Surrealism

Each year, the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) awards fellowships to the country’s top scholars in humanities and social sciences. Among this year’s crop of ACLS fellows is Sandra Zalman, University of Houston assistant professor of art history.

The award will support Zalman as she completes her upcoming book “Surrealism and Its Afterlife in American Art: 1936 - 1986.”

“I'm very honored and incredibly grateful to receive this award,” she said. “This fellowship period represents a crucial opportunity to concentrate on my research and focus on writing this book.”

The book, she said, will focus on how surrealism is absorbed by American mass culture and interacts with it. Artists to be covered in the book include Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte.

“The book is about how these artists’ works circulate in popular culture and how exhibitions of surrealism frame these works for public consumption as places like the New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) or Museum of Fine Arts, Houston,” Zalman said.

Surrealism is Zalman’s primary area of expertise, and she teaches a course on the topic at UH’s School of Art. She also teaches a class on museums. This semester, Zalman is instructing a course that explores MoMA and how it shaped the canon of contemporary art in the U.S. She recently co-chaired the College Art Association’s annual meeting “From Camp to Visual Culture: Accounting for Bad Art Since the 1960s.” In 2010, Zalman was awarded a Creative Capital-Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant that supported her article “Whose Modern Art?”

ACLS supports scholarly activity in the humanities and social sciences through fellowships and grants. Fellowship programs are available to scholars at all career stages and focus on new methods of research and collaboration. Programs address digital humanities, collaborative research, postdoctoral opportunities and scholars applying their talents in non-academic environments. To learn more about ACLS and its programs, visit http://www.acls.org/