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Images of the black subject—artistic, documentary, and anthropological—are forever fixed in the popular imagination through photography. From the medium’s beginning, race and gender have determined the reception of photographic portraits, politically and aesthetically. Coupling the aspirations of their subjects with their own, some American photographers of the 19th and 20th centuries evoked an emotional message that went beyond self-representation and toward he re-characterization of African American experience. William Bullard and other photographers—both black and white—responded to social issues of their time, creating images that commented on politics, culture, family, and history from internal and external points of view.
Deborah Willis, University Professor and Chair of Photography and Imaging at New York University, will mediate between the objectification and (re)presentation of the black body in the work of Bullard and other photographers who transformed the course of art history and fundamentally imaged the black in Western art.
This event is part of the African American Intellectual Culture Series. It is co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities; the Office of the Provost; the Center for Gender, Race, and Area Studies; and the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Clark University.