CFP: Critical Encounters: A Graduate Student Symposium in Honor of Sidney Littlefield Kasfir

Critical Encounters: A Graduate Student Symposium in Honor of Sidney Littlefield Kasfir

Emory University’s Michael C. Carlos Museum, Art History Department, and Institute for African Studies announce a graduate student symposium in honor of Sidney Littefield Kasfir.

Keynote address

Friday, April 22, 2011

7:30 pm

Chika Okeke-Agulu, Assistant Professor of Art History, Princeton University is a curator, artist and art historian and co-author of Contemporary African Art Since 1980, will deliver the keynote address.

Graduate Symposium

Saturday, April 23, 2011

9:30 am – 5:30 pm

“If tourist art, the lowest common denominator of what is thought by Westerners to be inauthentic in African art, can be deconstructed in ways that make the definition of authenticity full of self-contradictions, then the same kinds of questions can be asked even more readily about other non-canonical categories such as “elite” or “international” art. Now, in the closing years of the twentieth century, it is perhaps time to bring the canon into better alignment with the corpus, with what African artists actually make, and to leave behind a rather myopic classificatory system based so heavily on an Africa of the mind”

— Sidney L. Kasfir, “African Art and Authenticity: A Text with a Shadow” in African Arts

Throughout her career Dr. Sidney L. Kasfir has sought to rethink the way scholars, artists, museums, and viewers understand and categorize African art. She has attempted to expand our classificatory system, without allowing generalizations to dilute the complex efforts of artists, cultures, and visual languages. This symposium, organized in honor of her retirement from Emory University, considers three themes to which Dr. Kasfir has contributed: Commodification and Tourism; Heritage; and The Artist, the Workshop, and Cultural Brokerage.

Proposals should consider one of these three major themes. Papers should be twenty minutes in length. We welcome submissions from graduate students from any discipline and at all stages of their studies working with visual culture in Africa. Airfare and accommodations will be provided for students whose papers are accepted.

Deadline for submissions: Please send your cv and a one-page abstract by mail or email no later than February 5, 2011 to:

Elizabeth Hornor

Marguerite Colville Ingram Director of Education

Michael C. Carlos Museum

571 South Kilgo Circle

Atlanta, GA 30322

Ehornor [at] emory.edu

Selected speakers will be notified by email by March 5, 2011.

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