Black Visualities

The Black Visualities Initiative is directed by Tina Campt, Owen F. Walker Professor of Humanities and Modern Culture and Media.

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Previous Events

  • How do black collectivity and queer intimacy refuse the category of property? What is made possible when we imagine the tradition of black radicalism as continuous, collective work rather than an inheritance in which individuals accumulate knowledge, or become subjects of history? In this tradition, could we exist together across time, outside the patrimony of ownership or the lure of emancipation as “something akin to freedom” as described by Harriet Jacobs?

    Artist Cameron Rowland and MoMA curator Thomas Lax addressed these questions in a webinar moderated by Tina Campt (Brown University) and Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa (RISD) on October 14, 2020. They spoke together about their collaboration and work. 

    Watch the conversation on YouTube.

    Presented by the Brown Arts Initiative and Black Visualities Initiative at the Cogut Humanities Institute, with additional support from the Rhode Island School of Design and the Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration at Yale University. 

    Black Visualities, Humanities
  • Mar
    7:15pm - 9:00pm

    Film Screening and Conversation • The Otolith Group, “Third Part of the Third Measure”

    Acoustic Java Cafe and Microcinema, 204 South Main St., Providence, RI 02903

    The Third Part of the Third Measure by the Otolith Group (2017, 45 minutes) is an audiovisual composition commissioned by ICA Philadelphia and Sharjah Art Foundation. Described as “an experience of watching in the key of listening,” the composition focuses on the militant minimalism of avant-garde composer, pianist, and vocalist Julius Eastman (1940–1990) and the exemplary ecstatic aesthetics of black radicalism. It invokes political feelings of defiance and the collective practice of movement building that participates in the global struggles against neoreactionary authoritarianism. Read more.

    The screening was followed by a conversation with London-based filmmakers Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun, founders of the Otolith Group, and Rizvana Bradley, Art Historian at Yale University. 

    Watch the conversation on YouTube.

    This event was presented by the Black Visualities Initiative as part of the collaborative humanities graduate seminar “The Visual Frequency of Black Life.”

    Black Visualities
  • Feb

    Hazel V. Carby, Charles C. and Dorothea S. Dilley Professor of African American Studies and Professor of American Studies Emerita at Yale University, participated in a panel discussion of her recent book, Imperial Intimacies: A Tale of Two Islands (Verso, 2019) with Saidiya Hartman (English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University), Brian Meeks (Africana Studies, Brown University), Dixa Ramírez D’Oleo (American Studies and English, Brown University), and Deborah Thomas (Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania).

    Imperial Intimacies “untangles the threads connecting members of her family in a web woven by the British Empire across the Atlantic … Moving between Jamaican plantations, the hills of Devon, the port cities of Bristol, Cardiff, and Kingston, and the working-class estates of South London, Carby’s family story is at once an intimate personal history and a sweeping summation of the violent entanglement of two islands. In charting British empire’s interweaving of capital and bodies, public language and private feeling, Carby will find herself reckoning with what she can tell, what she can remember, and what she can bear to know.”

    Watch the panel on YouTube.

    This event was convened by Tina Campt,  Owen F. Walker Professor of Humanities and Modern Culture and Media, and presented as part of the Black Visualities Initiative.

    Co-sponsored by Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, and Department of Africana Studies.

    Black Visualities, Humanities