2017 Center for Historic American Visual Culture (CHAViC) Summer Seminar
In Black and White: Race and American Visual Culture
American Antiquarian Society
Dates of Seminar: June 9-13, 2017
Applications Due: March 15, 2017
The 2017 CHAViC Summer Seminar at the American Antiquarian Society will explore how American visual culture expressed ideas about race, specifically blackness and whiteness, across the long nineteenth century. Through lectures, readings, hands-on workshops, and group research, participants will learn how popular forms of visual culture have constructed racial identities in the United States and how looking can function as a racialized practice. The seminar leader will be Tanya Sheehan, associate professor and chair of the Art Department at Colby College and editor of the Archives of American Art Journal at the Smithsonian Institution. Guest faculty will include Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor, assistant professor in the History Department at Smith College and Jasmine Nichole Cobb, assistant professor in the Department of African & American Studies at Duke University.
Participants will have the opportunity to learn from the extraordinary collections at AAS, including popular prints, political cartoons, photographs, illustrated books and periodicals, sheet music, and ephemera such as trade cards. Case studies may include: caricatures of African Americans in Edward Clay’s lithographic series Life in Philadelphia (1828-1830), the visual culture of blackface minstrelsy and Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), graphics from popular periodicals like Harper’s Weekly that picture racial politics at key moments in U.S. history, efforts to recreate the “image of the black” by African American writer Phillis Wheatley and abolitionist Frederick Douglass, fantasies of racial difference in illustrated children’s books and commercial trade cards, and efforts to visualize raced bodies in early photographic portraiture. There will be a field trip to the Museum of African American History in Boston to view the exhibition Picturing Frederick Douglass.
The seminar will be held from Friday, June 9, through Tuesday, June 13, 2017, at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts. Participation is intended for college and university faculty as well as graduate students and museum professionals.
For further information, syllabus, and application materials, please consult the AAS website at www.americanantiquarian.org/2017-chavic-summer-seminar