A CoLA-Verse Discussion Series: “The Art of Pandemics”

Presented by the College of Liberal Arts

The Art of Pandemics

Moderated by Dr. Dahn Hiuni, with special guest curator Dr. Amy Converse

On Thursday, September 23rd, 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm.

In-person at Ahmanson Main Space or Online on Microsoft Teams

2021 marks 40 years since the advent of the AIDS pandemic, the last major world health crisis before COVID-19. For this occasion, artist and Woodbury Professor Dahn Hiuni has mounted an online retrospective exhibition of 4 decades of his AIDS-related art. The exhibition is curated by Prof. Amy Converse, Chair of the Art History Department at Woodbury University. Dr. Hiuni will present selected works from the exhibition and situate them in historical context, along with other AIDS art and the new art emerging from the Coronavirus era.

Dr. Dahn Hiuni

DAHN HIUNI is a Los Angeles-based multidisciplinary artist. His work spans the fields of visual art, graphic design, theater, performance art, and writing. Mr. Hiuni’s work has been presented at such New York venues as Soho Playhouse, P.S. 122, Franklin Furnace, Mixed Greens, Artists Space, Metro Pictures, Cooper Union, and Thread Waxing Space.

Other exhibition and performance venues include The Blank Theater, The Cleveland Performance Art Festival, The Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, The Art Gallery of Ontario, and The Lancaster Museum of Art. His work is part of the permanent collection of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. As a graphic designer, Mr. Hiuni’s clients have to include Pearson Publishing, Clairol, Independent Productions Fund, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Present Theater Company, DanceTheatre David Earle and Roth Projects LA, among others, and his design, photography, and illustration has appeared in the New York Times, the Huffington Post and Playbill. Mr. Hiuni is the recipient of a Major Artist Grant from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation and an Excellence in Playwriting Award from the New York International Fringe Festival.

Professor Hiuni has taught at Pratt Institute, School of Visual Arts, FIT, Hofstra, Bucknell, SUNY, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art, and at the National Theatre School of Canada. He holds an MFA in studio art and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. (Art History/Art Education/Performance Studies), both from Penn State. He is an adjunct professor of art at Woodbury University, UCLA Extension, and Empire State College Online.

Dahn Hiuni, Safe Painting, 1988 (Paint tubes and condoms on canvas)

AMY CONVERSE received her Ph.D. in Contemporary Art History and Critical Theory from the University of California, Los Angeles under the supervision of Mary Kelly in 2006. Her doctoral thesis entailed a joint investigation of midcentury Modernist painting and art criticism and Golden Age superhero comics from the same period.

She is the author of a diverse group of essays covering topics such as Relational Aesthetics, Contemporary Chinese Art, and more recently a lengthy monograph on the Mexican artist Joaquin Segura for Artillery Magazine (April 2013). Her current research interests include Latin American art, feminism, cannibalism, and anthropology, and she has been Associate Professor and Coordinator of Art History at Woodbury University in Burbank, CA since 2006.

Dr. Converse (formerly Pederson) is also an independent curator specializing in Latin American Art. Her solo projects include La Quebradora: Lucha Libre in Contemporary Mexican Art at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Art in San Francisco (2012), and, together with Ed Gomez and Luis G. Hernandez, she is a co-curator of the ongoing MexiCali Biennial exhibition project (www.mexicalibiennial.org).


  • What are the parallels between HIV and the Corona Virus?
  • What are the similarities and difference between the political and cultural responses to AIDS, as compared with COVID-19?
  • What role can art play during a health crisis?


Topic: The Art of Pandemics
Time: Sept 23 at 4:00 PM Pacific

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