Photo of Makeda D. Best, Ph.D.(www.bampfa.org)
When Sojourner Truth declared that she sold the “shadow” (photographic portraits of herself) to support the “substance” (the causes of abolition and the rights of women), she recognized the power of images to shape opinion and create economic value. How did the former slave strategically deploy and circulate photography as a form of political activism? Join a conversation with UC Berkeley professors Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby (History of Art) and Leigh Raiford (African American Studies) and photographer/photography historian Makeda Best of the California College of the Arts on the uses to which photography has been put in the African American struggle for political change.
Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby is the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor in the Arts and Humanities at UC Berkeley. Grigsby specializes in eighteenth- through early twentieth-century French and American art and visual and material culture, particularly in relation to the politics of race, slavery, and colonialism. She is the author of three books: Extremities: Painting Empire in Post-Revolutionary France (2002); Colossal: Engineering the Suez Canal, Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower and Panama Canal(2012); and Enduring Truths: Sojourner’s Shadows and Substance(2015).
Leigh Raiford is associate professor of African American Studies at UC Berkeley. She is the author of Imprisoned in a Luminous Glare: Photography and the African American Freedom Struggle (2011).
Makeda Best, assistant professor in Visual Studies at the California College of the Arts, is an historian of photography. She is currently revising a book on the Civil War–era photographer Alexander Gardner, and coediting a volume titled Conflict, Identity and Protest in American Art.
See: BAMPFA Roundtable Discussion
The Panthers, in more ways than one, sought to visualize racial identity. Their model continues to inform new movements across the globe.
Revolutionary Art (circa 1969) by Emory Douglas, Black Panther Minister of Culture, Oakland, CA.
See: Black Panther exhibition and programs at OMCA
Call for papers: deadline Friday, July 22, 2016.
Black Chronicles at the National Portrait Gallery. Installation photo: Zoe Maxwell at Autograph-apb.co.uk
From Art Historian and Critic Judith Wilson-Paes:
Somebody needs to research a book/ organize an exhibition on the West’s black community photographers–i.e., Oakland’s E.F. Joseph, San Francisco’s David Johnson, and the two LA women photojournalists who are in Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe’s book on black women photographers.
These California photographers are our Van Der Zees and W.S. Robertses in the western US. And as Joy Byrd’s Facebook post makes clear, they documented a little-known chapter of African American history–the flowering of 20th-c. West Coast black communities.
Call for papers for a special issue of Social Dynamics: A Journal of African Studies
African Photography: Realism and After
The place and meaning of photographs in Africa has shifted dramatically
over time, from colonial and ethnographic practices to radical new forms
of contemporary representation. Photographs circulate as documents, as
remnants in the aftermath of violence and dislocation, as both public
and private records of celebration, kinship and dwelling, and as
artworks. Photography offers a suggestive surface for engagements with
questions of both the imaginary and the real. This special issue of
Social Dynamics invites papers that explore the history, theory and
practice of photography across the continent.
Topics might include:
The role of portraits and family albums
Photographs of public figures
Photography and the history and memory of slavery
African photography and postcolonial modernity
Reading photographs as colonial documents
Photography and liberation struggles
Photography and national history
Local histories of photography
Art photography and imaginative transformation
Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words by the 22 February 2013 to:
Social Dynamics: A Journal of African Studies is a peer-reviewed journal
that is published three times a year by Taylor & Francis in electronic
and print format. The journal is based at the Centre for African
Studies at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and is edited by
Louise Green and Kylie Thomas.
For more information about the journal see:
Full-time tenure-track Assistant Professor in the field of photographic history, theory, and criticism. The successful applicant will hold a Ph.D. in art history or visual culture, with a specialty, publication record, and research program in any area of the history of photography. We seek a candidate with experience teaching global, historical surveys of the medium, as well as seminars on contemporary photography. Demonstrated interest in issues of race, gender, ethnicity, or other categories of difference will be privileged in the selection process.
Course load is 5 courses per academic year (typically 2/3); active participation in program assessment/development and committee service is required. Instructors in the Visual Studies program participate in the teaching of the program’s required and elective courses, including introductory historical surveys, 200-level electives, and 300-level seminars. Successful candidates will also have the interest in teaching at the graduate level.
For more information: http://www.cca.edu/about/jobs/60538