Season 4 Episode 7: Nora N. Khan on “Within, Below, and Alongside”

“A school will change you, and it teaches you as much about how people will interpret you, misunderstand and dismiss you, as it will teach you about a creative life.”

Critic, curator, and educator Nora N. Khan reads from “Dark Study: Within, Below, and Alongside,” a feature text published in the inaugural issue of March, which starts with the question: “how to go on?” In discussion with Sky Goodden, Khan describes this question’s implications for a text about the “life and death” of study, especially for first-generation immigrants studying in the US; and the effects of writing this piece in the midst of a crisis for both art education and bodies of color. “This is an effect of trauma,” she says, of writing the piece. A text that operates on several levels and interweaves the personal and the proclamatory, “Dark Study” reads as both a repudiation of professionalism as we’ve come to know it, and a manifesto for the future potential of “mastery” in the arts.

Thanks especially to Nora N. Khan for this timely and meaningful conversation.

We also wish to thank the National Gallery of Canada / Sobey Art Award, and University of Guelph’s Studio Art MFA program for their support of this episode.

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