Fall 2013

  HA 192F.1 / HA 281 | CCN: 05069 | 4 Units

Undergraduate/Graduate Seminar: Readings in African American Art / Black Visual Culture

Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby,


Undergraduates—instructor approval required.  

Room share with African American Studies 144 and African American Studies 240.

This seminar entails intensive reading of books on the visual representation of and by African Americans from the 19th to 21st centuries, including photography, painting, sculpture and conceptual art, etc.  Questions we will consider include: To what do we refer when use the phrase "African American Art"?  How is blackness produced, negotiated, refuted and perpetuated through a host of visual modes? How is “race” itself a scopic regime? Through a range of contemporary texts emerging from (but not limited to) History of Art and African American Studies, we will explore various methodological approaches to African American Art, clarify and develop our own research questions and begin to make sense of the long, entangled and inextricable relationship between African Americans and the visual. 

Among books to be read in full are Darby English, How to See a Work of Art in Total Darkness; Richard Powell, Cutting a Figure; and Nicole Fleetwood, Troubling Vision: Performance, Visuality and Blackness