CFP: “Solid as a Rock?: African American Sculptural Traditions and Practices” @ CAA 2015

Colleagues,
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 smalls@umbc.edu.

Many thanks.


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.

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Author: Camara Dia Holloway

I am an art historian specializing in early twentieth century American art with particular focus on the history of photography, race and representation, and transatlantic modernist networks. I earned my PhD at Yale University in the History of Art Department. Besides my leadership role as the Founding Co-Director of the Association for Critical Race Art History (ACRAH), I am recognized for my expertise on African American Art, particularly African American Photography, and as a seasoned consultant for exhibitions, museum collections, and symposia/lectures planning.

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