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Mary Kosut Receives Prestigious Fellowship

The associate professor of sociology will be in residence at The MacDowell Colony.

Mary Kosut, associate professor of sociology, will spend four weeks in residence at The MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, NH beginning in mid-January. McDowell Fellowships  provide “time, space, and an inspiring environment to artists of exceptional talent.”

An admissions panel of distinguished, and anonymous, professionals from various artistic disciplines select MacDowell Fellows, who receive exclusive use of a studio, accommodations, and three meals a day.

Kosut teaches courses on urban art worlds, outsiderness, feminist art, and visual cultures. She’ll be working on her manuscript “Other Art Worlds,” under contract with Columbia University Press, which “draws from five years of ethnographic research and my experiences curating shows in NYC, and takes a bottom-up perspective to focus on the art world 99%,” she explains.

“I reconsider what defines the New York art world, what it means to do artistic labor, the search for so-called authentic culture in gentrified landscapes, and the romantic idea that artists are integral to urban life.”

For Kosut, the fellowship will bring the time and space to be creative and productive. “The MacDowell Fellowship means freedom to think and write—a cabin in the woods, a room of my own. I’ll be free from domesticity and cut off from e-mail, social media, and the jibber-jabber of technology; all of the stuff that extinguishes productivity. I can drop out with permission and get some creative work done.”

Her students ultimately benefit from the work she pursues outside of the classroom. “Researching, writing, and curating—always makes its way in, implicitly or explicitly. I need to grow my brain if I want to help students grow theirs.”