Mary Coffey Lecture

Mary Coffey, Associate Professor of Modern Latin American Visual Culture, Department of Art History at Dartmouth College will present a lecture as part of the department series, On Speculation.

White Zombies and Black Labor: Specters of Slavery and Rebellion in José Clemente Orozco’s The Epic of American Civilization

Tuesday, November 19 at 5:30 pm in List Art Building room 110

Orozco’s Epic of American Civilization provides a powerful critique of the conquest and colonization of the Americas. And yet, it makes no mention of the institution of slavery in the formation of its modern nation-states. In this talk, Mary Coffey will address this silence and offer speculative readings of the Epic that speak to the specters of slavery and rebellion that haunt the mural. She will pay particular attention to Orozco’s vision of the “two Americas” as well as to the “Modern Industrial Man,” asking what possibilities are opened up by reading him as a person of African descent?


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