Black Portraiture[s] III: Reinventions: Strains of Histories and Cultures

Thursday (November 17)

9am – 9.20am
  • Welcome

Deborah Willis (chair, department of photography and imaging, Tisch/SCA and NYU), Cheryl Finley (director, visual studies, Cornell University), Jeremy Wafer (head of fine arts, University of the Witwatersrand), Awam Amkpa (Tisch/Drama/SCA/Africana Studies, NYU), Manthia Diawara (director, the Institute of African American Affairs, NYU), Liza Essers (director, Goodman Gallery) and Ulrich Baer (vice-provost for faculty, arts, humanities and diversity, NYU)

9.45am – 10.30am
  • Introduction of plenary speaker

Dr David C Driskell is an emiritus professor of art at the University of Maryland at College Park

10.30am – 12.00pm

(parallel sessions)

  • Pan African Futures: Exploring Race as Technology, Afrofuturism as Methodology

Moderator: Ruha Benjamin (Princeton University)

Panellists: Achille Mbembe, Lynnee Denise, Ingrid LaFleur


  • A Continent as a Woman

Moderator: Dell M Hamilton (Hutchins Centre, Harvard University)

Panellists: Nikki A Greene, Adrian Loving, Tanisha C Ford

  • Portraitures

Panel: Look at Me

Moderator: Ayoka Chenzira (Spelman College)

Panellists: Oluremi C Onabanjo, Hlonipha Mokoena, Joye Bowman and John Higginson, Heather Agyepong

  • Our Lives as Theory: LGBTQI and African … Remixed

Panellists: Mahlot Sansosa, Brendan Fernandes, Wanelisa Xaba, Moses Serubiri, Seoketsi Tshepo Mooketsi

1.15pm – 2.45pm (parallel sessions)
  • Afro-Urban Imaginaries

Moderator: Kellie Jones (Columbia University)

Panellists: Floretta Boonzaier, Dana Whabire, Mario Gooden and Mabel Wilson, Mpho Matsipa, Issa Diabate, Paul Goodwin

  • Reorienting the Axis: Global African Networks and Visual Production

Moderator: Kalia Brooks, and Anna Arabindan-Kesson (Princeton)

Panellists: Temi Odumosu, Gunja Sengupta, Awam Amkpa, Alessandra DiMaio, Sharlene Khan

  • Spirit Desire: Black Diasporic Bodies, Imagination, and the Peripheries of Space

Moderator/panellist: Alexis de Veaux

Panellists: Cheryl Clarke, Emmanuel Iduma, Mecca Jamilah Sullivan

  • Imaging the Black Female Body

Moderator: Myra Greene (Spelman College)

Panellists: T Thompson, Jessica Rucker Four, Alicia D. Bonaparte and Andrea Chung, Kanitra Fletcher, Maisha Teacher

3.00pm – 4.30pm (parallel sessions)
  • Reimagining the Archive through a Queer Lens

Moderator: Katina Parker (independent filmmaker)

Panellists: Zanele Muholi, John Edmonds, Robert E Holmes

  • Interrogating Presumptions: The Politics of Black Cultural Representations and Radical Resistance

Moderator/panellist: Sharon Harley (University of Maryland, College Park)

Panellists: Mia Bay, Melissa Cooper Bettina Love

  • Moving in Time

Moderator: Melvina Lathan (artist, New York)

Panellists: Ileana Selejan, Chike Frankie Edozien, Annika Finne, Manet Harrison, Sarah Stefana Smith

  • Rhythms

Moderator: Lewis Watts (University of California, Santa Cruz)

Panellists: Bruce Campbell Jr, James Cantres, Athi Mongezeleli Joja, Augustus Durham

4.45pm – 6.15pm (parallel sessions)
  • From South Africa to South Carolina: Postwar Music and Black Spaces

Moderator: Kwami Coleman (New York University, Gallatin)

Panellists: Rashaan Carter, Russell Holzman

  • The Archive

Panellists: Barbara Krauthamer, Pellom McDaniels III, Christa Clarke, Chandra Frank

  • Digital Diasporic Connections

Moderator: Margaret Stratton (University of Iowa)

Panellists: Jewell Winn, Natasha Logan, Jenna Wortham

  • Sum of these things: Négritude and materiality

Panellists: Tamika Galanis, Jon-Sesrie Goff, Roxanne Campbell

  • Africans in America opening reception at Goodman Gallery 6pm – 8pm

Friday (November 18)

9.15am – 10.30am (parallel sessions)
  • On Place: Cultural Tourism 

Moderator: Cheryl Finley (director, visual studies, Cornell University)

Panellists: Dawn Booker, Elijah Heyward III, Ethelene Whitmire, Alinta Sara

  • Universal Blackness: The Black Diaspora Experience in the 21st Century, presented by ARTNOIR

Moderator: Milisuthando Bongela (Mail & Guardian)

Panellists: Fhatuwani Mukheli, Itani Thalefi, Mpumelelo Mcata, Lina Iris Viktor, Nontsikelelo Mutiti

  • A Creed Across Waters and Beautiful Uprising

Moderator: Sandra Jackson-Dumont

Panellists: Pamela Thompson, Erin Stephens, LaToya M Hobbs

  • Home and Other Art Stories

Moderator: Bridget R McCurtis (NYU)

Panellists: Diagne Chanel, Ja’nell Ajani, Ric Francis, Felix Masi

  • On Coming to America: A Public Inquiry

Inquiry chairpersons: Bianca Moná, Florine Demosthene, Ashley Whitfield, Madala Thepa, Kitso Lynn Lelliott, Danielle Bowler, Sibabalwe Oscar Masinyana, Myesha Jenkins, Nathi Khumalo, Lihlumelo Hlumie, Tshego Molete, Sifiso Khanyile, Taryn Mackay

10.30am – 12.00pm

(parallel sessions)

  • #BlackLivesMatter: Interrogating Representations of Black Bodies in Pain and Black Lives without History

Panellists: Sharlene Khan, Senzeni Marasela, Same Mdluli, Nomusa Makhubu, Khewzi Gule, Fouad Asfour

  • Visualizing Land

Moderator: Pamela Newkirk (NYU, journalism)

Panellists: LeRonn Brooks, Ayasha Guerin and Lily Consuelo Saporta Tagiuri, De Angela Duff, Rebecca VanDiver

  • What’s Wrong with This Picture? Conflicted Circuits of Dispersal, Desire and Return in Exquisite Portraiture

Moderator: Terri Francis (Indiana University)

Panellists: Efeoghene Igor, Nicola Brandt, Indifference, Jerry Philogene

  • Mediated difference in South African Art and Photography: Deciphering Imagery of Blackness

Moderator: Lorie Novak (NYU)

Panellists: Steven C Dubin, JC Leeb-du Toit, Ashraf Jamal, Thania Petersen–Arafrasian, Paulette Young

  • Portraits of South African Spoken Word Poets, presented by ZAPP (RSA Poetry Project)

Panellists: Malika Ndlovu, Denise Newfield, Myesha Jenkins, Uhuru Phalafala, Natalia Molebatsi, Deirdre Byrne, Toni Stuart, Ragi Bashonga, Raphael d’Abdon, Phillippa Yaa de Villiers

1.15pm – 2.45pm (parallel sessions)
  • Africa and the LA Rebellion: Screening and Conversation

Moderator: Jacqueline Najuma Stewart (University of Chicago)

Panellists: Alile Sharon Larkin, Barbara McCullough

  • Afrofuturism and Art Activism

Moderator: Monroe France (NYU)

Panellists: Mawena Yehouessi, Afrofuturism, Chrislyn Laurie Laurore, Gloria Browne-Marshall, Thokozani Ndaba

  • #BBLV Black Bodies: Live and Virtual

Moderator: Isolde Brielmaier

Panellists: Bongani Madondo, Dionne Walker, Michèle Pearson, Christina Knight

  • Photographic Portraits/Between Object and Subject

Moderator: Jennifer DeVere Brody

Panellists: Kimberly Juanita Brown, Rachel Newman, Raimi Gbadamosi

  • ‘Venus’ on My Back: Girls of Color, Inheritance and the Hottentot Venus Narrative

Moderator: Anya Wallace (Penn State College of Liberal Arts)

Panellists: Derrais Carter, Jillian Hernandez, Rosamond S King

3pm – 4.30pm (parallel sessions)
  • Pride Feels No Pain: Feminist and Queer Perspectives from the Media (n) of Black Struggle 40 Years after June 16

Moderator/panellist: Nicholas Boston

Panellists: Mehita Iqani, Xavier Livermon, Andrew Tucker

  • Aframerican Transcultural Aesthetics

Moderator: Michael Dinwiddie (NYU Gallatin)

Panellists: Dyana Williams and Will Coloan Robert Vorlicky, Lara Koseff

  • Transgressive Acts: Transnational Bodies, Memory, and Cartographies of Change

Moderator: Roshini Kempadoo

Panellists: Victoria J Collis-Buthelezi, Sharlene Khan, Haroon Gunn-Salie

  • Voices and Images

Moderator: Lonnie Graham (Penn State University)

Panellists: Robin J Hayes, Janyce Denise Glasper, Denise Lim, Carlton Wilkinson, Tony Whitfield

  • Sharp!: Images of Independent Southern African Fashion in the Free-Born Era

Moderator: M Liz Andrews (artist/scholar, George Mason University)

Panellists: Holly Bass, Rose Callahan and Harness Hamese, Nicola Cooper, Lourens “Loux the Vintage Guru” Gebhardt, Zano Sithetho

4.45pm – 6.15pm (parallel sessions)
  • Artists and Ideas

Moderator: Michelle Woo (Hank Willis Thomas Studios)

Panellists: Michelle Joan Wilkinson, Daniel Kojo Schrade, Natasha Becker, Moses Serubiri, Chriss Aghana Nwobu, Riason Naidoo

  • Photography, Painting and Performance

Moderator: Anna Arabindan-Kesson (Princeton)

Panellists: Carolyn Grimstead, Sonya Clark, Jamie Philbert, Celia Maria Antonacci Ramos; Ghana Amer

  • IAAA Film Screening

Introduction: Melvina Lathan (artist; New York)

Zwelidumile, a film by Ramadan Suleman about the life of Dumile Feni

  • Myth & Portraits

Panellists: Naima Green, Helena Uambembe, Teresa Firmino, Michelle R Perkins, Renee Stout, Mary Sibande, Gabrielle Goliath

  • Refashion(ed)!! and Deconstructing the Portrait

Moderator: M Liz Andrews (artist/scholar, George Mason University)

Panellists: Leora Farber, The Sartists and Khumbula, Aaron Kohn, Natalya Mills-Mayrena, Dario Calmese

6:30pm
  • Aperture & Fourthwall Books Reception Fourthwall Books pop-up shop 44, Stanley Avenue, Johannesburg

Saturday (November 19)

9.00am – 10.30pm (parallel sessions)
  • Artists’ Speak

Moderator: Hank Willis Thomas (artist, New York)

Panellists: Sanford Biggers, Brendan Fernandes, Mikhael Subotzky, Sue Williamson, Mary Sibande, Nicholas Hlobo, Liza Essers

  • From Black Abstraction to Visual Order

Moderator: Kalia Brooks (NYU)

Panellists: Essence Harden, Sadie Barnette, Adee Roberson, Christine Dixie, James Sey, Nonzuzo Gxekwa

  • Ark of Time

Moderator: Ben R Caldwell (KAOS Network)

Panellists: Rudy Rude, Francois Bar, Raul-David “Retro” Poblano

  • Performing the Continent: Re-Imagining African Identities Through Multidisciplinary Art Practices

Moderator: Nikki A Greene

Panelist: Rashayla Marie Brown, Kenyatta AC Hinkle, Helina Metaferia Tiffany Smith

10:30am – 12:00pm (parallel sessions)
  • Preservation of African Fashion from Global Misappropriation, presented by Oxosi.com

Moderators: Allana Finley (Afara) and Kolade Adeyemo (Oxosi.com)

Panellists: Chu Suwannapha, Nicola Cooper, Trevor Stuurman, Maria McCloy, Malcolm Ché

  • On Performance and Identities

Moderator: Sandra Jackson-Dumont (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Panellists: Jamilah Bradshaw-Dieng, Brian Anthony Cello Leads, Debra Levine, Kavita Kulkarni, Daniel Dunson

  • On the Media: Representing African Photography Today

Moderator: Brendan Wattenberg (APERTURE Magazine)

Panellists: Rita Potenza, Bronwyn Law-Viljoen, Yvon Langué, Aicha Diallo, FAKA

  • Art History: FESTAC 77 Portraits of American Artists

Moderator: Marilyn Nance (The Marilyn Nance Archive)

Panellists: Valerie Maynard, Valerie Caesar, Rafia Santana

1.15pm – 2.45pm (parallel sessions)
  • Portrait as Politic

Moderator: Hallie Ringle (Studio Museum in Harlem)

Panellists: Amanda Hunt, Jordan Casteel, Lauren Haynes, Rashaad Newsome, Ebony G Patterson, Noel Anderson

  • Confinement and Space

Moderator: Mark Wright

Panellists: Shani Jamila, Millery Polyné, Rin Johnson, Maren Stange

  • Film, Writing, and Portraits

Moderator: Jennifer Morgan (NYU)

Panellists: Bettina Judd, Emma Laurence, Nthabiseng Moeke

  • Art History and Black Empowerment

Moderator: Cheryl Finley (director, visual studies, Cornell University)

Panellists: Patricia Banks, Cornelia Knoll, Elizabeth Colomba, Sarah Lewis

3pm – 4.30pm (parallel sessions)
  • Black Power @ 50 Conversations Part II: Image as Protest

Moderator: Novella Ford (The Schomburg Centre for Research in Black Culture)

Panellists: Sylviane A Diouf, Emory Douglas, Ozier Muhammad, Zanele Muholi

  • Re-Imagining the Archive

Moderator: Michael Gomez (NYU)

Panellists: Alexsandra Mitchell, DaMaris Hill, Michael Harris

  • Nervous Conditions: Representations of Black African Femininities

Moderators: Refilwe Nkomo and Palesa Motsumi

Panellists: Ayana V Jackson, Milisuthando Bongela, Chandra Frank, Molemo Moiloa, Heidi Sincuba, The Martyrs of Tomorrow

  • Image as Power

Moderator: Herman L Bennett (The Graduate Centre, CUNY)

Panellists: Siobhan Carter-David Anthony Francis, Quanda Johnson

4.30pm
  • Conference closing
  • Black Portraiture[s] III takes place from November 17 to 19 at the Turbine Hall, Newtown, Johannesburg. blackportraitures.info.
  • The M&G will be publishing daily reports on the sessions during the conference

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