Departmental Events

Alexandre Dumas’s Afro: Blackness Caricatured, Erased, and Back Again

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1:30 pm | 4/29/2023 | Osher Theater, BAMPFA, 2155 Center Street, Berkeley | Until 3:00 pm | 4/29/2023

Roundtable Discussion in conjunction with the exhibition on view at BAMPFA, April 12-July 30, 2023. A conversation about Blackness, caricature, and celebrity in history with guest co-curator Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby and Nana Adusei-Poku, Karl Britto, and David Huffman, moderated by guest co-curator Vanessa Jackson. 

Saturday, April 29, 2023, 1:30-3:00 p.m. 

Osher Theater, BAMPFA, 2155 Center Street, Berkeley 

Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby, Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor in the Arts and Humanities at U.C. Berkeley and Professor of History of Art Department, is Co-Curator of Alexandre Dumas’s Afro. Blackness Caricatured, Erased, and Back Again at BAMPFA April 12-July 30, 2023; and Curator of . Sojourner Truth, Photography, and the Fight Against Slavery at BAMPFA, July 27- October 23, 2016. She is the author of Extremities. Painting Empire in Post-Revolutionary France (2002); Colossal. Engineering the Suez Canal, Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower, and Panama Canal (2012); Enduring Truths. Sojourner’s Shadows and Substance (2015); and Creole. Portraits of France’s Foreign Relations in the Nineteenth Century (2022). 

Nana Adusei-Poku, Black Art Historian, Curator, and Assistant Professor of History of Art at U.C. Berkeley. She is author of Taking Stakes in the Unknown: Tracing Post-Black Art (2021) and editor of Reshaping the Field: Art of the African Diasporas on Display (2023), and curator, most recently, of the well-received exhibition Black Melancholia at the CCS Bard Galleries, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York 2022. 

Karl Britto, Associate Professor of French & Comparative Literature and Associate Dean, Arts & Humanities. Britto is a scholar of the francophone and anglophone colonial and postcolonial literatures of Vietnam, Africa, and the Caribbean and author of Disorientation: France, Vietnam, and the Ambivalence of Interculturality (2004) as well as numerous articles including “The Place of Paris in Vietnamese Diasporic Fiction,” in Paris and the Marginalized Author: Treachery, Alienation, Queerness, and Exile, eds. Valérie Orlando and Pamela Pears (2019). 

David Huffman, Black Artist and Associate Professor, California College of the Arts. Huffman’s multi-media art addresses African American iconography from 18th- and 19th- century stereotypes such as minstrels and blackface to 20th-century celebrations of basketball. Huffman’s works include his Traumanaut Series (2007-2008), Basketball Abstractions (2010-2013), and recent installations such as Liberation, an (Egyptian) pyramid of basketballs painted the colors of the Pan-African flag (green, black, and red). 

Vanessa Jackson, Black Ph. D. student, History of Art, U.C. Berkeley is Co-Curator of Alexandre Dumas’s Afro. Blackness Caricatured, Erased, and Back Again at BAMPFA April 12-July 30, 2023. She specializes in French visual art and literature produced during the long nineteenth century, contending with the silencing of black voices, the archival erasure of black agency, and colonial amnesia. Through her critical engagement with the archive, she aims to discover, uncover, and/or recover the life-worlds of black colonial subjects and historical actors who lived (or still live) in the wake of colonialism. 

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