David C. Driskell Center

Spectacular Fictions: Race and Visual Culture

September 22, 2006

Maryland Room, Marie Mount Hall, University of Maryland, College Park


The African Diaspora Area Group of the English Department will sponsor a conference on September 22, 2006, “Spectacular Fictions: Race and Visual Culture,” which will bring together scholars at the forefront of a growing field in African American and African Diaspora studies. This conference will feature scholars whose work joins literary studies and visual studies in analyses of race and culture.

Our invited speakers are: Shawn Michelle Smith, Associate Professor of Visual and Critical Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Cheryl Wall, Professor of English at Rutgers University; Cheryl Finley, Assistant Professor of Art History at Cornell University; and Anne Elizabeth Carroll, Associate Professor of English at Wichita State University, and Beth Loizeaux, Associate Professor of English, University of Maryland, College Park.

The conference, which will take place at the University of Maryland, College Park, on Friday, September 22, 2006 in the Maryland Room , will begin with an opening address at 9 and end at 3:45. There will be a buffet lunch in Annapolis Hall. The coordinators of the conference are Mary Helen Washington, English Department; Elsa Barkley Brown, History and Women's Studies Departments; Zita Cristina Nunes, English Department; and Gene Andrew Jarrett, English Department. Conference is free and open to the public. Registration is not required.

For further information call 301-405-7634



9:00 Welcome, Opening Remarks, Refreshments

9:30-11:45 Spectacles of Racial Trauma
Cheryl Finley, Cornell University
“'It's Part of My DNA': The Embedded Life of the Slave Ship Icon”

Shawn Michelle Smith, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
“The Evidence of Lynching Photographs”

12:00-1:20 Lunch

1:30-3:45 Contemporary Visual Culture and the Paradox of Race

Anne Carroll, Wichita State University
“Playing with Perceptions: Reading, Seeing, and Performing Race in Fires in the Mirror

Beth Loizeaux, University of Maryland, College Park
“Rita Dove's Museum”

Cheryl Wall, Rutgers University
“Reading The Black Book , Re-Viewing Black History”