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Image and Identity in the African Diaspora

Friday, March 30, 2012 - 4:06pm


The Institute for African American Studies and Lamar Dodd School of Art present a lecture by Cameron Van Patterson, Diasporic Imagination: Race, Difference, and Memory in Contemporary Art. The lecture will be on April 5 at 5 p.m. in room S150 of the school of art, with a reception immediately following. The lecture and reception are free and the public is invited to attend.

The jointly sponsored lecture will focus on the relationship between image and identity in the African diaspora and how the diasporic, or the dispersed group outside of its traditional homeland, might be defined as a conscious mode of artistic expression. In arguing for the notion of a diasporic imagination, Van Patterson illustrates some of the ways in which the themes of race, difference and memory reflected in contemporary art have contributed to the development of a diasporic identity. As a historical process of remembrance and reinvention, diasporic identity has been imagined in contemporary art as a third
space engendered by transatlantic slavery, colonialism,
Pan-Africanism, migration, exile, and the globalization of western
cultural modernity.

subject continues to inform the contemporary African and
African American history in critical ways that have dramatically
changed aesthetic discourse, curatorial practice, and the broader
landscape of Art History.

Van Patteron teaches in the department of African and African American Studies and Africana Women’s Studies at Clark Atlanta University. A former Teaching fellow at Harvard University, where he received his doctorate in African and African American studies while also studying contemporary black American art and visual culture, his research examines the relationship between visual art, social genres of difference like race and gender, and the politics of representation in American art and social history.

Image: "Untitled," Gavin Jantjes (b. South Africa, lives and works in Oslo, Norway), 1989. sand, tissue paper, pigment and acrylic on canvas. 200 x 300 cm.


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