At CAA's annual conference in February, SHERA board member Eva Forgacs served as host for three recipients of the International Travel Grants funded by CAA and the Getty Foundation. Thanks to this initiative, we had a great new opportunity for scholarly exchange that we hope will continue in the future. Eva wrote the following account of her experience:
Learning that CAA and the Getty Foundation have funded twenty international scholars' visit to CAA, an already ongoing tradition, SHERA President Margaret Samu was inspired to propose SHERA's active participation in this project. This took the form of my involvement as one of the hostesses. I worked with Laris Boric from Croatia, Adriana Oprea from Romania, and Daria Kostina from Yekaterinburg, Russia. Their visit was superbly organized by Janet Landay from CAA’s staff, who also involved a student host to each group helping visits to galleries and landmarks in the city, so my task was to serve as an anchor to them, and make them meet as many colleagues as possible.
We participated in the pre-conference session, where each grantee gave a ten-minute talk about his or her country, work, and projects. This was a fascinating day of virtual travel around the globe from Brazil to Poland to Malaysia to Cameroon, and on. I think each of us felt humble in the face of the dimensions of our scholarly community and the great variety and diversity we witnessed. We went together to the opening reception on Wednesday and to a few sessions, and to the enjoyable dinner of the Historians of German and Central European Art and Architecture on Thursday, after Dasha and Adriana attended SHERA's business meeting, too. I thought that a host has to walk the thin line between being an overbearing presence and being absent. I had the impression that my guests had about as much support as they needed from me, knowing that I am there for them any time they need me. I enjoyed their company, and found out that I once vacationed in Laris's native village, had a common friend with Dasha, and shared many thoughts with Adriana.