R&B for scholars

Room & Board is the permanent home of two academics. We recognize that scholars are subject to much the same demands, contingencies, and precariousness as artists. For that reason, R&B also offers residencies to writers and researchers. As always, no product is required, but editing, feedback, and other support are offered. Like Room & Board’s artists, scholars in residence are also given the opportunity to present their work to a community of peers in a public salon.

As is the case for artists, no stipend is available; Room & Board can offer only a private bedroom and work space, as well as the promise that we will try to cover all residency-related costs that come up.

All subjects are welcome, but art historians, literary scholars, and philosophers especially will find themselves in good company.

Previous events in the Armchair Academy series



“The feminist origins of the midlife crisis”

Talk by Susanne Schmidt, with Cara Kiernan Fallon responding.

An affluent, middle-aged man absconding, with a woman half his age, in a red Porsche––such is the image that the term “midlife crisis” brings to mind. Its original meaning could not have been more different. The midlife crisis became popular in the 1970s as a feminist concept that applied to men and women alike, and normalised a change in gender roles towards an androgynous ideal. This talk will situate the midlife crisis in the context of social change in the 1970s and in the modern notion of middle age. Following Susanne’s talk, Cara Kiernan Fallon (Department of the History of Science, Harvard) will respond.

Susanne Schmidt is a PhD candidate in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge, England, where she studies the history of the midlife crisis. Through the lens of popular culture––mass-market books, life-style magazines––her research tells a story about gender and the life course in the United States and West Germany, circa 1970–2000.

Susanne Schmidt.



FOR A LONG MOMENT: the concept of “modern art” circa 1400

Talk by Bobby Brennan, with Anna Majeski and Nikki Georgopulos as respondents.