Join us for a forum in the Chancellor Green Rotunda celebrating recent book releases by three faculty members, Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Chika Okeke-Agulu, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor. Professor Glaude, chair of the Department of African American Studies, will moderate a conversation featuring his colleagues Professor Okeke-Agulu (Art & Archaeology and African American Studies) and Professor Taylor (African American Studies). Though the books cover different themes, places and time periods, all three grapple with ideas related to politics, inequality and liberation.
The books that will be discussed on Thursday afternoon:
Postcolonial Modernism: Art and Decolonization in Twentieth-Century Nigeria by Chika Okeke-Agulu
From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.
Postcolonial Modernism: Art and Decolonization in Twentieth-Century Nigeria by Chika Okeke-Agulu. Written by one of the foremost scholars of African art and featuring 129 color images, Postcolonial Modernism chronicles the emergence of artistic modernism in Nigeria in the heady years surrounding political independence in 1960, before the outbreak of civil war in 1967. Chika Okeke-Agulu traces the artistic, intellectual, and critical networks in several Nigerian cities. Zaria is particularly important, because it was there, at the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, that a group of students formed the Art Society and inaugurated postcolonial modernism in Nigeria. As Okeke-Agulu explains, their works show both a deep connection with local artistic traditions and the stylistic sophistication that we have come to associate with twentieth-century modernist practices. He explores how these young Nigerian artists were inspired by the rhetoric and ideologies of decolonization and nationalism in the early- and mid-twentieth century and, later, by advocates of negritude and pan-Africanism. They translated the experiences of decolonization into a distinctive “postcolonial modernism” that has continued to inform the work of major Nigerian artists. (Duke University Press, March 2015)
- Professor Okeke-Agulu’s book received the Frank Jewett Mather Award for Art Criticism from the College Art Association (CAA).
From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor. The eruption of mass protests in the wake of the police murders of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York City have challenged the impunity with which officers of the law carry out violence against Black people and punctured the illusion of a postracial America. The Black Lives Matter movement has awakened a new generation of activists. In this stirring and insightful analysis, activist and scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor surveys the historical and contemporary ravages of racism and persistence of structural inequality such as mass incarceration and Black unemployment. In this context, she argues that this new struggle against police violence holds the potential to reignite a broader push for Black liberation. (Haymarket Books, January 2016)
- Professor Taylor’s book received the Lannan Foundation’s Cultural Freedom Award for an Especially Notable Book.
Professor Glaude’s recent book, Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul (Crown, January 2016), will also animate the discussion.
Labyrinth Books will sell books by each author before and after the event. The faculty members will stay after the event to sign copies of the books.