What is contemporary art? For some, it’s Pollocks and Picassos and Poliakoffs. For others, it is the senseless combination of shape and color. For University of Chicago art history professor Darby English, it’s a conversation. Last Thursday, students, faculty and members of the Hanover community gathered to hear English speak in the Hood Museum of Art’s Gilman Auditorium for the annual Dr. Allen Root Contemporary Art Distinguished Lectureship, a forum established in 2004 that focuses on celebrating and educating the community about modern art through a variety of lenses.