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Representation and Resistance: Scholarship Centering Race in Western Art

Thursday, September 10, 6pm CDT
Thursday, October 29, 5pm CST
Thursday, November 12, 6pm CST

Representation and Resistance: Scholarship Centering Race in Western Art is a virtual lecture series organized by Mia L. Bagneris and Michelle Foa of the Newcomb Art Department and co-sponsored by the Africana Studies Program.

Featuring a diverse array of scholars, Representation and Resistance: Scholarship Centering Race in Western Art will showcase research that centers BIPOC people as artists, as subjects of representation, and as viewers. Talks in the series will illuminate the intersections of race and representation, including strategies of resistance employed by artists and spectators of color, in the visual and material cultures of the United States, Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean from the early modern period through the nineteenth century. All talks will be presented via Zoom and will be free and open to the public.

Photo of Daphne Williams
Daphne Williams, Age about 100, 1936-38

Jennifer Van Horn, Associate Professor of Art History and History, University of Delaware "‘No one could prevent us making good use of our eyes’: Enslaved Spectators and Iconoclasts on Southern Plantations"

Thursday, September 10, 6pm CDT online
This lecture uses the portrait to tell an alternative history of American art: how enslaved people mobilized portraiture in acts of artistic defiance. It traces the ways that bondpeople denied planters’ authority and reversed dehumanization by gazing on white elites’ portraits, an act of rebellion that remains understudied.

Artwork from Event flyer

Ananda Cohen-Aponte, Associate Professor of History of Art, Cornell University "The Materiality of Insurgency in the Colonial Andes"

Thursday, October 29, 5pm CST online
This presentation explores themes of loss, erasure, and effacement of artworks in eighteenth-century Peru and Bolivia, positing the modification of material culture as a form of world-making by considering case studies from the Tupac Amaru and Katari Rebellions, which sought the overthrow of Spanish colonial rule. Traditional art historical studies that focus exclusively on fully intact or “museum quality” artworks distort our understanding of fraught periods of history, and particularly rebellions and uprisings, due to severe censorship campaigns in their aftermath that sought to restore colonial order through targeted iconoclasm. This presentation offers new insights for writing about art’s entanglement with political violence, underscoring the gains that can be made through interdisciplinary methodologies for recovering Indigenous and Afro-Indigenous artists and subjects that have been erased from the official archive.

Sculpture of a Greek Slave

Caitlin Beach, Assistant Professor of Art History, Fordham University "The Greek Slave on the Eve of Abolition"

Thursday, November 12, 6pm CST online
What kind of image can enact change? Many nineteenth-century viewers posed this question when seeing Hiram Powers’ Greek Slave (first version, 1844), anticipating that its depiction of a Greek woman in chains might raise metaphorical connections to the urgent matter of slavery’s abolition in the antebellum United States. But as scholars have pointed out, the white marble statue was fraught with complexity in terms of its materiality and subject matter, deflecting as many associations to the enslavement of African Americans as it evoked. This talk draws on new archival material to rethink the Greek Slave’s relationship to antislavery discourse. Its exhibition intersected the machinations of racial capitalism in the Black Atlantic, concerns that emerged in sharp relief during the sculpture’s American tour and in the city of New Orleans in particular. There, the sculpture’s display was inextricable from the acts of seeing and surveillance central to the institution of slavery and human trafficking. Yet in these same years, the Greek Slave’s closeness to slavery in the U.S. South would become a flashpoint of Black activism and antislavery critique on the global stage. In an age of slavery and abolition, Powers’ sculpture stood on shifting ground.

So You Want to Talk About Race?
A Talk By Ijeoma Oluo

Wednesday, September 30, 2020 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM

Register for the Lecture

Ijeoma Oluo

New York Times' Best Selling author, Ijeoma Oluo of So You Want to Talk About Race?, will lead a virtual lecture on September 30, 2020, from 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM about her book with a moderated Q & A to follow. Ijeoma Oluo is a Seattle-based Writer, Speaker, and Internet Yeller. Her work on social issues such as race and gender has been published in the Guardian, The Stranger, Washington Post, ELLE magazine, NBC News, and more. Her NYT bestselling first book, So You Want to Talk About Race?, was released January 2018 with Seal Press.

Ijeoma was named one of the Most Influential People in Seattle by Seattle Magazine, one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Seattle by Seattle Met, one of The Root's 100 Most Influential Americans in 2017 & 2018, and is the recipient of the Feminist Humanist Award 2018 by the American Humanist Association, the Media Justice Award by the Gender Justice League, and the 2018 Aubrey Davis Visionary Leadership Award by the Equal Opportunity Institute.

The event is co-sponsored by the Office of New Student and Leadership Programs, the Center for Public Service, Newcomb-Tulane College, Newcomb Institute, and the Africana Studies Program. Please register for the virtual event through the link above or the NSLP Wavesync page. The first 15 sign-ups will receive a copy of the book. The lecture link will be emailed to all registered participants prior to the event.

Save the Date
​Wednesday, September 30, 2020 
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Register for the Lecture


Africana Studies at Tulane University Presents

Wicked Flesh

Black Women, Intimacy, and Freedom in the Atlantic World

A Virtual Roundtable

A book Celebration & Virtual Roundtable with author Jessica Marie Johnson

September 22, 2020
6:30 PM CST

Wicked Flesh QR code
Jessica Marie Johnson photo
Jessica Marie Johnson, PhD
Assistant Professor of History
Johns Hopkins University


This event will livestream, free and open to the public. Advance registration is not required, but RSVPs are appreciated in anticipation of the Q&A session.
RSVP to:


Poetry performances by Mwende “FreeQuency” Katwiwa & Brenda Marie Osbey

Author talk by Jessica Marie Johnson, PhD
Assistant Professor of History, Johns Hopkins University


Eva Baham, PhD, Dillard University
Mélanie Lamotte, PhD, Tulane University
Robin Vander, PhD, Xavier University

Audience Q&A and Discussion

co-sponsored by:

logo Roger Thayer Stone Center for Latin American Studies
New Orleans Center for the Gulf South logo