Black Portraitures II: Imaging the Black Body and Re-Staging Histories (Florence – 28-31 May, 2015)

Black PortraituresBlack Portraitures II: Imaging the Black Body and Re-Staging Histories (Florence, Italy, 28-31 May 2015) is the sixth in a series of highly successful conferences staged by New York University (NYU) in collaboration with Harvard University’s Hutchins Center for African and African-American Research.

“This conference will bring together artists and scholars from an assortment of disciplines and practices… and will offer comparative perspectives on the historical and contemporary role played by photography, art, film, literature, and music in referencing the image of the black body in the West. In this context, “Black Portraitures II: Imaging the Black Body and Re-staging Histories,” will explore the impulses, ideas, and techniques undergirding the production of self-representation and desire, and the exchange of the gaze from the 19th century to the present day in fashion, film, art, and the archives.

Discussions will focus on aesthetics, vernacular style, fashion, and ethnographics in describing a sense of place and identity. The conference will also invite visitors to conduct a diverse visual reading of the notion of a black portrait while challenging conventional perspectives on identity, beauty, cosmopolitanism, and community in Africa and its diaspora. Through a series of panels and individual speakers, the presentations will include a wide range of discussions relating to the topic. Some anticipated panels and presentations include:

  • Neo-Black: Identities in the Making
  • The Black Body: In Translation
  • Out of/in Fashion—Exploring the double entendre
  • Black Desire: Then and Now
  • Hip Hop Stereotype the Enigma
  • Re-Significations European Blackamoors, Africana Reading
  • The Archive in the Black Body
  • Social Media and the Moor through Pinterest
  • Commodification of the Black Image on EBay and Fashion.”

For further information, please see the Facebook page for the Black Portraitures II conference: https://www.facebook.com/BlackPortraitures

Additional provisional details about the programme are also available online via the New York Tisch School of the Arts website, from which the above-mentioned content was sourced and edited.

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Carol Dixon

Carol Ann Dixon is an education consultant and academic researcher interested in African and Caribbean diaspora histories and heritage, cultural geography, museology and contemporary visual art. Her PhD dissertation is titled "The 'othering' of Africa and its diasporas in Western museum practices" (University of Sheffield, UK).

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