Morning Plenary

Wassan Al-Khudhairi, Chief Curator, Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis (Photo by Orlando V Thompson II)
Wassan Al-Khudhairi, Chief Curator, Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis (Photo by Orlando V Thompson II)

Wassan Al-Khudhairi is the Chief Curator at the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis, where she has organized Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Lawrence Abu Hamdan: Earwitness Theatre, Guan Xiao: Fiction Archive Project, Hayv Kahraman: Acts of Reparation, Trenton Doyle Hancock: The Re-Evolving Door to the Moundverse and SUPERFLEX: European Union Mayotte. Prior to her position at CAM, Al-Khudhairi was the Hugh Kaul Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art.  During her time in Birmingham, she organized the first large-scale exhibition of the museum’s contemporary collection,Third Space / shifting conversations about contemporary art. In 2019, Al-Khudhairi received the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) and the AAMC Foundation Award for Excellence for the Third Space catalogue.  She was invited to be a Curator for the 6th Asian Art Biennial in Taiwan in 2017 and Co-Artistic Director for 9th Gwangju Biennial in South Korea in 2012.  Serving as the Founding Director of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Qatar, Al-Khudhairi oversaw the opening of the Museum in 2010 and co-curated Sajjil: A Century of Modern Art and curated Cai Guo-Qiang: Saraab.

Convocation Keynote

Adrienne Davis, Vice Provost; William M. Van Cleve Professor of Law; and founding Director of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity at Washington University in St. Louis
Adrienne Davis, Vice Provost; William M. Van Cleve Professor of Law; and founding Director of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity at Washington University in St. Louis

Adrienne Davis holds appointments as the William M. Van Cleve Professor of Law; Vice Provost; and the founding Director of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity at Washington University in St. Louis. She holds courtesy academic appointments in the Departments of African and African-American Studies; History; Sociology; and Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies, all in the School of Arts & Sciences. Davis is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School, where she served on the Executive Committee of the Yale Law Journal. 

Davis joined the law faculty at Washington University in St. Louis in January 2008 and was appointed vice provost in January 2011.  As Vice Provost, Davis focuses on faculty diversity and development, consulting and collaborating closely with the University’s schools;managing a suite of programs; and chairing key searches for the next generation of University leaders. From 2015 until 2017 she chaired the University’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion, which was charged with designing a University-wide plan for diversity.  She also works closely with other stakeholders at the University on a range of institutional policies, initiatives, and programs.  As a teacher and scholar Davis is a feminist and critical race theorist who focuses on “the law of daily life,” or how law regulates and affects people’s daily interactions, decisions, and identities.  She has written extensively on the gendered and private law dimensions of American slavery, the legal regulation of intimacy, and theories of justice and reparations.  She is the co-editor of the book, Privilege Revealed: How Invisible Preference Undermines America (NYU Press). In spring 2019, Davis was named the founding Director of the University’s Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity. The Center brings faculty and students across Washington University’s seven schools to study how race and ethnicity are integral to the most complex and challenging issues of our time. Davis is deeply involved in several St. Louis civic institutions. She is Secretary to the St. Louis Art Museum’s Board of Commissioners and also serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of Opera Theatre St. Louis, the St. Louis Fashion Fund, Our Little Haven, and the St. Louis Visionary Awards.  She is a member of the Links, Inc., St. Louis Chapter, and for three years chaired their Arts Facet.  She previously served on the boards of Laumeier Sculpture Park and December literary magazine.