Amber Jamilla Musser and art historian Paul Kaplan will discuss the image of black Africans in European art history in a contemporary context with Amanda Gluibizzi of the Brooklyn Rail. We will conclude with a reading from poet Cynthia Cruz.
Dr. Amber Musser PhD is Professor of American Studies at George Washington University. She writes about race, sexuality, and aesthetics. She is the author of Sensational Flesh: Race, Power, and Masochism (NYU Press, 2014) and Sensual Excess: Queer Femininity and Brown Jouissance (NYU Press, 2018). She has an MSt in Women’s Studies from Oxford University and received her PhD in History of Science from Harvard University, and has held fellowships at New York University’s Draper Program in Gender Studies and Brown University’s Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women. She also writes art criticism for the Brooklyn Rail.
Paul Kaplan is Professor of Art History at Purchase College, SUNY. He is the author of The Rise of the Black Magus in Western Art (1985) and of numerous essays on European images of black Africans and Jews. He served as Project Scholar for the artist Fred Wilson’s “Speak of Me as I Am,” an installation in the American Pavilion at the 2003 Venice Biennale. In 2008 and 2012 he was a fellow of the Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. He is a major contributor to volumes 2, 3 and 4 of Harvard University Press’s The Image of the Black in Western Art (new ed., 2010-2012). His new book, *Contraband Guides: Race, Transatlantic Culture and the Arts in the Civil War Era (*Penn State Press, 2020), extends his research into the nineteenth century and American art and literature.
Amanda Gluibizzi is an ArtSeen editor at The Brooklyn Rail. An art historian, she is the co-director of The New Foundation for Art History and the author of Art and Design in 1960s New York (forthcoming).
Cynthia Cruz is the author of six collections of poems: Guidebooks for the Dead (Four Way Books, 2020), Dregs (Four Way Books, 2018), How the End Begins (Four Way Books, 2016), Wunderkammer (Four Way Books, 2014), The Glimmering Room (Four Way Books, 2012) and Ruin (Alice James Books, 2006). The Melancholia of Class, her second collection of critical essays about melancholia and the working class, is forthcoming from Repeater Books in 2021. Cruz edits the interdisciplinary journal Schlag Magazine with Steven Page and teaches at the City University of New York and in the MFA Writing Program at Columbia University.
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