SYMP: Nka Roundtable III: “Contemporary African Art and the Museum”

Nka Roundtable III: “Contemporary African Art and the Museum”

Over the next several weeks curators and directors of major museums in the United States, Germany, Japan, South Africa and the UK will engage in spirited but substantial discussion on the relationship between contemporary African art and the museum. I expect excursions into the history of this relationship, its crucial moments, state of affairs, and challenges that remain. In the process, we shall debate issues of presenting this material in art and ethnology museums; the politics of acquisitions and display; museums and scholarship; and the place of contemporary African art–relative to the “traditional” and western contemporary. I suspect that there will be surprising turns in the course of our discussion, but I am certain that the deliberations of this diverse, unprecedented and distinguished panel of curators will surely be of immense value to students and scholars working or interested in this exciting, dynamic field. Please join us!

Convener: *Chika Okeke-Agulu* (Princeton University)

Participants: *Marla Berns* (Director, Fowler Museum of Cultural History, University of California, Los Angeles), *Christa Clarke* (Senior Curator, Newark Museum, Newark, NJ), *Laurie Ann Farrell* (Director of Exhibitions, Savannah College of Art & Design Gallery, Savannah, GA), *Khwezi Gule* (Chief Curator, Hector Pieterson Memorial, Johannesburg), *Kinsey Katchka* (independent scholar/curator), *Yukiya Kawaguchi* (Associate Professor, National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka), *Clive Kellner* (Curator-at-Large, The Gordon Schachat Collection, Johannesburg), *Karen Milbourne* (Curator, Smithsonian National Museum for African Art, Washington DC), *Raison Naidoo* (Director Arts Collections, Iziko: South African National Gallery, Cape Town), *Enid Schildkrout* (Chief Curator/Director of Exhibitions, Museum for African Art, New York) *Chris Spring* (Curator, British Museum, London), *Ulf Vierke* (Director, Iwalewa-Haus, University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth), *Okwui Enwezor*, *Salah M. Hassan*.

CFP: Session at Southeastern College Art Conference @ Savannah, GA

“African Diaspora Artists in the Americas: New Histories, New Constructions, New Interpretations”

This session will focus on new research addressing art created by African Diaspora artists in the Americas from the colonial eras to the present.  In the last two decades, scholars have both expanded the field of study of African American and African Diasporic art and developed newly nuanced interpretations of the meanings and implications of racialized discourses about artistic production and stylistic interchange.  This sessions seeks papers addressing issues raised by these new discursive constructions related to relationships between artists, social politics, and contemporary visual culture; the significance of trans-Atlantic or trans-Pacific artistic and cultural interchange; the intersections of gender and class with racialized identities; post-colonial approaches to the history and effects of slavery; and challenges to the notion of race itself as an organizing category of knowledge.  Papers that address any aspect of these dimensions of the history of African American or African Diasporic Art in the Americas are welcomed.

Please submit a 200-word (maximum) proposal using the form found on the SECAC website plus a 1 page CV by April 20, 2011 to session Chair: Helen Langa, e-mail: (see address and phone below)

For more information about the conference and SECAC, see:

Helen Langa, PhD
Director, Art History Program
Associate Professor, Art History and Gender Studies
Katzen Art Center 233
Art Department
American University
4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington D.C. 20016-8004


SYMP: African Art Symposium in Honor of Dr. Sidney L. Kasfir @ Emory

Critical Encounters: A Graduate Student Symposium in Honor of Sidney Littlefield Kasfir

Friday & Saturday
April 22 & 23, 2011
Michael C. Carlos Museum
Emory University
Reception Hall
Throughout her career Dr. Sidney L. Kasfir has sought to rethink the way scholars, artists, museums, and viewers understand and categorize African art. She has attempted to expand our classificatory system without allowing generalizations to dilute the complex efforts of artists, cultures, and visual languages. This symposium, organized in honor of her retirement from Emory University, considers three themes to which Dr. Kasfir has contributed: Commodification and Tourism; Heritage; and The Artist, The Workshop, and Cultural Brokerage.

Invited graduate students from across the country, in multiple disciplines working with visual culture in Africa, will explore topics related to these themes in a day-long symposium that is open to the Emory community and the public.

This program is co-sponsored by Emory University’s Michael C. Carlos Museum, Art History Department, and Institute for African Studies.
Friday, April 22
7:30 pm
Keynote Address
Dr. Chika Okeke-Agulu, Assistant Professor of Art History, Princeton University, New Thoughts on the Mbari Mbayo Workshops in Osogbo, 1962-66

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SYMP: “BLACK IS…BLACK AIN’T” @ Indiana University


Keynote Speaker: Professor Michele Wallace

Saturday, March 26, 2011
8:15 AM – 6:00 PM

Indiana University-Bloomington, Indiana
Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center

Program information and flyer:


The African Diaspora has been historically conceived as originating with the Transatlantic Slave trade. However, some would argue that to perceive the African Diaspora only in relation to slavery is to obscure alternative means of conceptualizing the movement of Black bodies. As scholars committed to interdisciplinary research, the Graduate Society of the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies at Indiana University brings together scholars, community activists, artists, and other professionals to interrogate definitions of, theorize about, and imagine new possibilities for the African Diaspora.

Symposium papers will address the following topics:
* What are the practical applications of African American and African Diaspora Studies/Black Studies in the 21st century?
* How do migrations – local, national and international – affect diasporic identities?
* How does contemporary audio/visual media and popular culture help to re-imagine the borders of diasporic communities?
* How do outliers serve as change agents in these communities?
* What are the ways that the academy can engage in constructive dialogues with nonacademic communities?

SYMP: The Body in History / The Body in Space @ Harvard, March 24-26, 2011

Home – Cambridge Talks V: The Body in History / The Body in Space.

The history of the body has been a locus of prolific research in the past several decades, engaging scholars from disciplines as diverse as history of medicine, cultural history, literature, sociology, and anthropology. The body’s experience of health and sickness, histories of the senses, changing standards of civility, the body as political instrument – these and other approaches have recovered the centrality of the human subject in studies of the past and present. Yet current scholarship on the body often relegates issues of space to the background, treating it as a neutral setting against which bodies interact. Conversely, treatments of the body and its history are scant in disciplines focused on space and the built environment. In fields like architectural history, geography, and urban studies, the presence of the body is taken for granted and its history rarely emerges as a critical contribution to the history of space.

This conference aims to question such a facile body-space relationship by positing that the history of the body must also be a history of the body in space, and that the history of spatial practices must involve a history of the body. By bringing together scholars from a range of disciplines, we hope to interrogate the material specificity of architecture and the body through a range of questions linking the two:

  • What role does the built environment play in our understandings of the body?
  • How have past regulatory practices of the body influenced the design of spaces?
  • How can we reclaim human agency while acknowledging the limits imposed on the body by spatial constructs?

This conference will feature an eclectic mix of performance art, video presentations, and academic papers. Participants include: Linda Nash, David Serlin, Annmarie Adams, Christina Cogdell, Janet Beizer, Priya Srinivasan, Andrew Herscher, Nell Breyer, Carey Foster, and others. Please visit for a full schedule of events.

“The Body in History / The Body in Space” is generously supported by Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Provost Fund for Student Collaboration, the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, the Harvard Graduate Student Council, the Program in the History of American Civilization, the Department of the History of Science, and the Department of Anthropology.

LEC/SYMP: “Of Slavery and Abolitions: Perspectives from the World of the Slaves” Keynote by Franklin Knight

Keynote Address by:

Franklin W. Knight, Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

Keynote address for:

Abolishing Slavery in the Atlantic World: the
‘Underground Railroad’  in the Americas, Africa, and Europe

Organized by Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, Inc.

Saturday, April 9, 2011 at 9am
Bush Memorial, Russell Sage College, Troy, New York

Information at:

The story of slavery and abolition is most often told within national and
regional frames, and focuses mostly on the anti-slavery outlooks and
actions of elite figures who were not themselves enslaved. Professor
Knight, a specialist in the slave societies of the Americas and beyond, is
very familiar with the very different perspectives of the enslaved to
these questions. In his talk, he will discuss the lives, outlooks, and
actions of enslaved people as they survived, resisted, and fought to
overthrow the detested system that held them in bondage.

Conference registration online is ready. Register early!

Join the 10th anniversary conference celebrating and preserving Underground Railroad history in its national and international context
and its relationship with us today.

It’s the place to be on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 8, 9, and 10

Registration available at or by calling 518-432-4432

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“Between Theory and Practice: Rethinking Latin American Art in the 21st Century” Symposium, MOLAA/Getty

Between Theory and Practice: Rethinking Latin American Art in the 21st Century is a two part symposium that will take place in Southern California and in Lima, Peru. The panel of speakers will be comprised of an international group of scholars, curators, museum directors and artists who will discuss new approaches to studying and presenting Latin American art in the 21st century. The first session, from March 11 – 13, 2011 will be held at MOLAA and at The Getty Center in Los Angeles; the second session, from November 2 – 4, 2011 will be held at the Museo de Arte de Lima in Peru. Both sessions will address the same topics but will introduce different speakers.–in-the-21st-Century.aspx

The Idea of Archive—Producing and Performing Race, Duke University Library

February 25 – 26, 2011

In celebration of the fifteenth anniversary of the John Hope Franklin Research Center, the Duke University Libraries and the Office of the Provost present the inaugural Atelier @ Duke, a series of panel discussions on “The Idea of Archive—Producing and Performing Race.” This program is free and open to the public.

Black Studies in Art & Design Education Conference @ Parsons

For more information contact Coco Fusco at or visit our webpage:

Anatomy/Academy Graduate Symposium @ PAFA

March 26, 2011, 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Free after museum admission.

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts will host a graduate symposium in
conjunction with the exhibition *Anatomy/Academy: Nexus of Art and Science*

In tribute to Philadelphia’s historical importance as a center for the
artistic and anatomical study of the human body, this symposium examines the
body in relation to the material and visual culture of American art,
focusing on how Philadelphia’s dynamic art and science communities fostered
knowledge of the human body from the early nineteenth century to the

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