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Chronic Conditions Public Lecture Series: “Critical Narratives in Visualizing the Black Body in Photography and Popular Culture”

February 26, 2020 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Wednesday, February 26
Chronic Conditions Public Lecture Series: “Critical Narratives in Visualizing the Black Body in Photography and Popular Culture”

The Forum, Marvin Hall I 5:30 pm

Dr.Deborah Willis  is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Images of the black subject, whether artistic, documentary, or anthropological, are forever fixed in the popular imagination through photography. From the medium’s beginning, race and gender have shaped and controlled the reception of photographic portraits, both politically and aesthetically. Black American photographers of the 19th and 20th centuries responded to their own lives and their communities in similar ways. Some evoked an emotional message that went beyond the self-representation but connected in the re-characterization of the African- American experience and the African diaspora. The photographers coupled the aspirations and dreams of their subjects with their own. Today, many of the black photographers working all over the diaspora are responding to social issues that take them beyond the sometimes-insular photographic community. They comment on politics, culture, family, and history from internal and external points of view.

This lecture will mediate between the objectification of the black body and (re) presenting the black body as it connects to the photographs of Gordon Parks and other photoartists working today who are actively involved in changing the course of art history and fundamentally imaging the black in Western art. If you’re interested in engaging with Dr. Willis during her visit, or would like additional information, please contact KUSawyerSem@ku.edu.


February 26, 2020
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
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The Forum, Marvin Hall
1465 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045 United States
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