Expressive Cultures of the Black Atlantic: Vision and Time
3451 Mason Hall
TuTh 11:30-1:00pm
3 Credit Seminar

Here we'll be examining the visual cultures Africa and its Diasporas, focusing on how historical memory and the experience of time are articulated in objects and performances. What are the stories these objects tell, and how do we translate them into good thinking? Big human questions arise: What, for example, does it mean to reclaim historical "African" origins when their reconstruction is by definition impossible? The idea of allegory is strong here: the mourning of lost "ancient" wholeness marked also by the enduring hope that fragments of the past can be reassembled to redeem the present. But the people whose lives and works we'll discuss are not abjectly "living in the past"--though this very misconception has often been rehearsed in museum exhibitions devoted to the objectifying study of "Other" cultures. We'll concentrate on the ways in which the realities of a shifting present are addressed throughout the African Diaspora:in struggle, in celebration, and always in movement. B. E. 4