UNDEFEATED: Canvas(s)ing the Politics of Voter Suppression Since Women’s Suffrage
An exhibit by WVU Art in the Libraries
Print Installation: Downtown Campus Library, Jan-Aug 2021
The right to vote is fundamental to a constitutional democracy. Any action to restrict protections to every citizen’s right to vote, is anathema to our democracy. In particular during the COVID-19 pandemic era, social distancing is providing more impetus for reconsideration of voter laws and processes.
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment to the U. S. Constitution (granting women the right to vote), and the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (enforcing voting rights for racial minorities), the WVU Libraries present an exhibition centered on efforts to suppress the votes of women and minorities since 1920. Unlike campaigning, which attempts to persuade voters, suppression efforts aim to reduce the number of votes cast by specific groups of eligible voters. The suppressors, acting legally or illegally, believe such groups of people will vote against an ideology, issue, or candidate.
Suppression tactics may include: Long lines to vote, Inconvenient voting locations, Misinformation about voting procedures, Reduced absentee and early voting windows, Purging of registered voters, Photo ID requirements.
An advisory committee consisting of regional scholars, creatives, and professionals (listed below) collaboratively curated and contributed the educational content and selected the artwork organized in themes: Buttons and Bikes; Voter Turnout; Information and Disinformation; Access and Intimidation; Legal and Legislation; Advocacy and Action.
Using the template of the campaign button as a canvas, artists and designers worldwide were invited to respond to these themes and encourage viewers to consider issues that are frequently overlooked.
The WVU Libraries Open Educational Resources committee has compiled a collection of open and free educational materials to support the use of Undefeated in teaching and learning. These resources are available on the Undefeated Open Educational Resources Research Guide.
Lead Exhibit Sponsors: WVU Libraries, WVU Humanities Center, WVU Faculty Senate Community Engagement Grant
Exhibits and Events Sponsor: Reed College of Media
Exhibit Sponsors: WVU Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; WVU Council for Women's Concerns; WVU Loulie, Valerie and William Canady College of Creative Arts, West Virginia Humanities Council
Supporters of WVU Libraries: Adventure West Virginia; Arts Monongahela; Morgantown Printing and Binding
Exhibit Advisory Committee
Joseph Cohen, Executive Director, ACLU of West Virginia
Johanna Winant, NOW Morgantown
Kitty Dooley, attorney, Charleston
Danielle Emerling, Curator, Congressional and Political Papers, WVU Libraries
Marjorie Fuller, Director, WVU Center for Black Culture and Research
Natalie Tennant, former WV Secretary of State
Karen Kunz, professor, WVU Department of Public Administration
Eve Faulkes, Professor, Graphic Design, WVU School of Art & Design
Meshea Poore, Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, WVU
Mike Slaven, Professor, Department of History, Politics, Society, and Law, California University of Pennsylvania
Jonathan Rosenbaum, President of the League of Women Voters of West Virginia
Charlotte Hoelke, Lecturer, Center for Women's and Gender Studies, WVU
Lindsay Nielson, Researcher, Public Policy Evaluation, Fors Marsh Group
Other Exhibit Content Contributors/Editors:
Hannah Jack, WVU Libraries’ Undergraduate intern for Research Services
Beth Royall, WVU Creative Arts Librarian
Aisury Vasquez, WVU Diversity Outreach Coordinator for the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Ken Martis, WVU Professor Emeritus of Geography
Lydia Strickling, Graduate Assistant with the West Virginia and Regional History Center political papers
Saud Alsabah, Sydney Atonik, Jenny Balisle, Maria Bittinger, Harding Brown, Sally Brown Deskins, Karla Bugayong, Qian Chen, Kevin Cline, Sheila Cueller-Shaffer, Danie Drankwalter, Charlene Eldon, Eve Faulkes, Kara Fellows, Feminist Limericks, Erin Fields, Imogen Frost, Alicia Goss, Kathleen Greco, Kari Gunter-Seymour, Kaitlyn Hall, Wesley Holliday, Kim Holt, Keith Kitz, Nancy Konchesky, Pearl Kruss, Amelia Kuntz, Lucas Leddy, Savanna Leech, Lisa Link, Abigail Montgomery, Trystn O’Haver, Andre Pace, Rebecca Patton, Gabrielle Pfeil, Jenna Piatt, Dayanita Ramesh, Megan Rinker, Cecilia Romero, Elisha Rush, Seshu Singh, Abbyrose Sisler, Pauline Hudel Smith, Emma Snider, Skylar Spence, August Thompson, William Thompson, Beth Toren, Naomi S. Velasquez, Jessie Ward, Lauren White, Cat Willett, Travis Williamson, Kuukua Wilson, Jacob Wooster, Lillie Wren, Dara Herman Zierlein, Peter Zierlein
Lead Curator: Sally Brown Deskins
Lead Designer: Eve Faulkes
Online Designer: Travis Williamson