Spring Faculty Scholarship Series: Final Presentations


Photograph courtesy of UIS.edu

On April 24, Dr. Rosina Neginsky, associate professor of liberal and integrative studies, presented her research on the artist Mikhail Vrubel. The title of the presentation was “Mikhail Vrubel and Symbolism in Literary Works.”

This was the final event of the Spring Faculty Scholarhsip Series in which Dr. Neginsky and three other University of Illinois Springfield faculty members presented their research on various topics. The first presentations occurred in March and included Dr. Hinda Seif, associate professor of sociology and anthropology as well as women’s and gender studies, who presented her research titled, “Paint it Brown: Women Artists, Space, and Self-Expression in Mexican Chicago.” Another March presenter was Dr. Holly Kent, associate professor of history, who presented “Writing Freedom: Abolitionist Women Writers Before the U.S. Civil War.” The third event in the series was held earlier in April, with Dr. Gwen Jordan, associate professor of legal studies presenting “You May Study Law, But You Cannot Practice Here: Transnational Activism of Women Lawyers of Color in the Mid-Twentieth Century.”

In her presentation, Dr. Neginsky discussed both her own fascination with Symbolism as well as the life of Mikhail Vrubel, a late 19th century symbolist artist whose struggle with mental health issues significantly impacted his art—largely in the form of demonic themes in his work. Neginsky also displayed several of Vrubel’s paintings, including one of his best-known works, “Demon Seated.” According to Dr. Neginsky, “Demon Seated” is apparently representative of a demon from a late 19th century poet. Vrubel would eventually die in 1910, having lost his ability to paint due to blindness.

After the presentation, there was a question and answer session. Much of the question and answer session focused upon the topics of creativity and mental illness—asking whether or not artists in particular had a vulnerability to mental illness, among other themes. After the question and answer period, there was a book signing for Neginsky’s most recent publications.

Dr. Neginsky’s presentation ends the Faculty Scholarship Series for the spring semester. The series is a relatively new event that was launched last fall that focused upon sharing faculty research with the UIS community.