Please consider submitting a proposal for the CAA 2015 session, to take place in New York and that I will be chairing, titled “Solid As A Rock: African American Sculptural Traditions and Practices.” The official deadline is May 9 for proposals. Please send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is my original call for proposals:
Solid as a Rock?: African American Sculptural Traditions and Practices
Sculpture has always been an intricate part of the history of African-American art and yet African American sculptural traditions and practices have not been sufficiently historicized or critically questioned. Venturing beyond focus on artist’s biographies, this panel sets out to investigate and deconstruct the multi-accentual critical, aesthetic, and thematic aspects of sculptural traditions and practices engaged in by African American artists. It seeks to interrogate not only the assumed, if not expected, operations of racial identities, but also those of gender, sexuality, and class. What are the conceptual/ideological gaps, cracks, and fissures that are provoked in thinking of African American sculptural traditions and practices exclusively in terms of race and racial identity? Is there anything singular about sculpture as a medium that is particularly relevant or critical for African American cultural expression? How might we reconcile sculpture’s inherent conservatism as a medium with African American progressive intent/content? What strategies of identity (re)negotiation do African American sculptors engage in in figurative, abstract, and conceptual modes of sculptural practice and how are these manifested given sculpture’s limitations as a medium? This panel embraces different methodological approaches and critical perspectives from any historical period relevant to the intersectional history, theory, and criticism of African American sculptural traditions and practices. As well, it welcomes thoughtful critique of the very terms “sculpture,” “traditions” and “practices” in relationship to African American visual art and culture.