Summer 2021

Yale Norfolk School of Art Summer 2021 Lecture Series: The Shape of Empathy

May 22– July 2, 2021

February 18, 2021: Faculty deadline to nominate up to 3 current juniors 

March 1-5, 2021: Student deadline to submit application materials 

Norfolk, CT

The Yale Norfolk School of Art is continually monitoring the current health situation in light of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that moving forward with the program is safe and appropriate. We will follow Yale University and CDC recommendations and protocols for safety and preparedness.

For summer 2021 the Yale Norfolk School of Art will offer a thematic program, made possible by Norfolk Foundation, Inc., called “The Shape of Empathy” that will include a series of remote public lectures covering divergent topics such as the rich and varied history of mime, the exploration of how we speak and listen, the tension between entitlement and empathy and composing protest songs. The roster of speakers will influence the students’ summer dialogue in a structured way, culminating in an online video archive of these interactions. Yale Norfolk seeks to engage with the Norfolk residential community and also with a broader public to build a more diverse audience during the summer period. 

Yale Norfolk’s co-directors, Byron Kim and Lisa Sigal chose the subject “The Shape of Empathy” for the summer of 2020, which was regrettably canceled. Since the theme remains relevant to the state of our lives in 2021, artists and scholars from the 2020 session will be invited again and additional lecturers will be added to the series. Speakers will address diverse attitudes toward empathy and multiple perspectives in order to unpack the ways in which we might better understand each other. We anticipate conversations about ascribing meaning onto works of art along with questions like, is it ok for an artwork to lack empathy? And how best to discuss the shape of our empathy toward the planet on which we live?

The resident faculty for 2021 will be Ayham Ghraowi, Byron Kim, Lisa Sigal and four Teaching Fellows, selected from recent graduates of Yale’s esteemed MFA program. In addition to the Norfolk Summer course schedule, students will investigate “The Shape of Empathy,” the theme of the summer’s lecture series, with visiting scholars and artists who will engage the students in a wide range of vibrant topics. Students follow a curriculum of Yale College art courses including Critical Studies, Advanced Image Making and Senior Studio. Students work in individual studio spaces and have access to digital printers, computers, along with some traditional printmaking facilities. 

All lectures will be remote and open to the public.