Corita: Breaking (All) the Rules


Location: McKenna Hall, Room 112–114

Barbara M. Loste, Ph.D., Eastern Washington University

“You’ve got to know the rules to break them. That’s what I’m here for, to demolish the rules but keep the tradition.”
—Alexander McQueen

Sister Mary Corita (1918–1986) was a prolific 20th century American artist, treasured for her juxtaposition of colorful shapes and visionary quotes, often inspired by everyday pop culture. As an art professor at Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles in the late 1960s, Corita assembled a set of rules for students and teachers: Rule 1: “Find a place you trust and try trusting it for a while.”; Rule 4: “Consider everything an experiment.”; and by rule 10, Corita quoted avant-garde musician John Cage by adding, “We’re breaking all of the rules, even our own.”

Sister Corita’s creative life and legacy—as an artist, teacher, and woman religious—can be examined in light of her uncanny ability to break some rules.

This event is part of the Women and Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America lecture series and gallery exhibit. A full listing of events is as follows. For more information, click on the event name.

Friday, September 2, 2011–Saturday, December 31, 2011
Ongoing Exhibit at the South Bend Center for History: Women and Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America

Monday, September 12, 2011
Lecture and Book Signing: Helen Prejean, C.S.J.
Helen Prejean, C.S.J., author and advocate against the death penalty

Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Lecture: Corita Breaking (All) the Rules
Barbara M. Loste, Eastern Washington University

Thursday, September 15, 2011
Film Screening and Panel Discussion: The Mighty Macs

Saturday, September 24, 2011
Lecture: The Future of Religious Life
Sandra Schneiders, I.H.M., Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley at Santa Clara

Sunday, October 2, 2011
Lecture: Sisters, Saints, and Citizens: Canonization in America
Kathleen Sprows Cummings, University of Notre Dame

Thursday, October 13, 2011
Lecture: Long and Short Perspectives: A Twenty-First Century Historian Looks at Medieval Women and Religion
Caroline Walker Bynum, Columbia University

Thursday, November 3, 2011
American Catholic Studies Seminar: Black Nuns and the Struggle to Desegregate Catholic Sisterhoods after WWII
Shannen Dee Williams, Rutgers University
Commentator: Diane Batts Morrow; University of Georgia, Athens

Friday, November 4, 2011
Cushwa Center Lecture: The Experience of the Oblate Sisters of Providence During the Civil War
Diane Batts Morrow; University of Georgia, Athens

Saturday, November 5, 2011
Seminar in American Religion: Civilizing Habits: Women Missionaries and the Revival of the French Empire
Sarah Curtis, San Francisco State University
Commentators: Angelyn Dries, O.S.F., Saint Louis University; Thomas Kselman, University of Notre Dame

Saturday, November 5, 2011
Screening With Panel Discussion: Band of Sisters
Mary Fishman ’82, producer/director of Band of Sisters

This series is a project of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. It is sponsored by:

Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism
Office of the President
Alliance for Catholic Education
DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts
Department of American Studies
Department of History
Office of Campus Ministry
Center for Social Concerns
Center for Spirituality, Saint Mary’s College
South Bend Center for History

For additional information, please see the Center for History website.