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Honorary degree citation - Annette Michelson

By: John Locke, June 1997

Mr. Chancellor, I have the honour to introduce to you Annette Michelson. She is a professor of Cinema Studies at New York University and is a leading authority on film theory, both classical and contemporary with an emphasis on psychoanalysis and critical theory. Her knowledge of French film, the international avant-garde, independent movements in film and related forms of artistic production have brought her numerous honours, including senior fellowships at the Getty Institute for Studies in the Visual Arts and Humanities and at the Centre for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Her expertise in art history and theory of the image, with particular reference to modernism and post-modernism, has been illustrated in such diverse activities as founder, with Rosalind Krauss, of the journal October, devoted to the theoretical and critical consideration of contemporary art in its historical and political contexts, and co-founding editor of October Books, published by Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press.

She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1948 from Brooklyn College and following graduate studies in art history and philosophy at Columbia University and the University of Paris, took up a 15 year residence in Paris. Between 1956 and 1966, she was art editor of the Paris edition of the New York Herald Tribune, as well as the Paris correspondent for Arts Magazine and Art International. Upon her return to the United States, she became editor for film and performance of the journal Artforum.

Professor Michelson received an Ingram-Mellon fellowship (1966) and three grants for research from the National Endowment of the Arts (1974, 1976, 1978). She has received the Frank Jewett Mather award for distinction in art criticism (1974) and the title of distinguished teacher by New York University (1994).

She is the author of several published works. On the Eve of the Future, a volume of her collected writings on the theory and practice of the cinematic avant-garde is scheduled for publication by MIT Press this year.

Mr. Chancellor, it is a privilege and an honour to present to you, on behalf of the Senate, and by the authority of the Board of Governors, Annette Michelson, so that you may confer on her the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

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