The symposium, The Idea of Modernity in African Diaspora Art will be held on Saturday, September 16, 2006. In this current postcolonial world in which modernity and modernism are viewed as passé, a prevailing assumption exists that there is a consensus on the history of modernism in art, and that we all share the same understanding of what modern art means.

Call for Papers

The Idea of Modernity in African Diaspora Art - Art by Phillippe DoddardFor its 2007 international exhibition series, Broward County Libraries Division and its institutional partners, F.I.U African-New World Studies,. Florida Africana Studies Consortium (FLASC), Africa Resource Center, Inc., Endicott, the Department of Africana Studies, Binghamton University, NY, A.C.T.I.O.N. Foundation of Fort Lauderdale and Galerie d’Art Nader of Haiti & Miami seek papers which fit into the rubric of “modernity and modernism” as they relate to African Diaspora visual productions. Also included in this symposium is the opening of a major exhibition of the work of Philipp Dodard and a presentation of the catalogue entitled: “Roots: The Idea of Modernity in Haitian Contemporary Art”. Both symposium and Art exhibition opening are scheduled for Friday November 3, 2006

In this current postcolonial world in which modernity and modernism are viewed as passé, a prevailing assumption exists that there is a consensus on the history of modernism in art, and that we all share the same understanding of what modern art means. However, this is untrue. In the now globalized system of knowledge, that privileges Euro-America, the idea of modernism in art has skillfully been delinked from its African causative factors. The resulting racialized epistemology grounds modernism in art on the ideological bedrock of Western discourses of modernity that strategically primitivized Africans and, till today, has continued to edit out Africa from world history. Aware of the epistemological role of Euro-America in scholarship, this symposium challenges us to engage the underlying racialized system of knowledge that effaced African and African Diaspora cultures, and to re-theorize artistic history in ways that recovers the creativity, labor, and subjectivities of peoples that were crucial to the making and shaping of modernity and modernism in art. The Symposium, hosted by the Broward County Libraries Division anticipates addresses by leading scholars in the field of African Diaspora art, Nkiru Nzegwu, Professor of Africana Studies, Binghamton University, Phillip Lerebours, Director, National Museum of Art of Haiti, Legrace Benson, Director, Haiti Arts Research Project, Houston Baker, Professor of African American Literature, Duke University and Michael Hanchard, Professor of Political Science and Director, Institute for Diasporic Studies, North Western University, Illinois.

Deadline for submission of proposals is October 1, 2006. Proposals, which must include the title, one paragraph abstract, and contact information, should be sent to: Babacar M’Bow, International Programs & Exhibits Coordinator Broward Libraries Division 100 South Andrews Avenue Fort Lauderdale Florida 33301. Telephone: 954-357-7478 Fax: 954-357-5681 E-mail: bmbow at browardlibrary.org

Symposium Hotel: Hampton Inn Downtown City Center. 250 North Andrews Avenue Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301. Telephone: (954) 924-2700 • Fax: (954) 924-2717.Website: http://www.hamptoninnftlauderdale E-mail: reservations at hamptoninnftlauderdale.com


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