- Faculty & Staff
- Graduate Students
This seminar examines the multiple iterations of the plantation, and to draw from Katherine McKittrick, the kinds of futures it brings forth for us now. The plantation might be, to paraphrase Krista Thompson and Huey Copeland an “afrotrope” – a “recurrent visual form” that has played a key role in the formation of Black Diaspora identity and culture. We will consider its various representational formats, along with its various lives, and afterlives. As an ecological, material and economic intervention in the landscape, the plantations is a site of labor and knowledge production. It is both a form of enclosure and an extremely mobile form, a space where human and commodity flows converged, and an ecology formed through interspecies interaction. By considering these histories of the plantation – an ideological and spatial apparatus – we will think through its implications for practices of labor, experiences of the natural world, the organization of vision and, constructions of freedom as they have been formulated in African American Studies. Furthermore, across the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans, the plantation remains a site where alternative constructions of freedom, and otherworldly economies of knowledge, resilience and resistance formed. We will also consider how the transformations wrought by the plantation across the globe create possibilities to imagine the intimacies and particularities of time and space differently that can help us better understand the politics of race, representation and labor in our contemporary moment. Invited presenters for this seminar include scholars, writers and artists working in the fields, and intersecting geographies of Art History, History, Literary Studies, African American Studies, Creative Writing, Anthropology, Geography and the Environmental Humanities.
Please note that incoming and advanced graduate students are welcome to register.
About The Speaker
Krista Thompson is the Mary Jane Crowe Professor of Art History, and affiliated faculty in the Department of African American Studies and the Department of Performance Studies. She researches and teaches modern and contemporary art and visual culture of the Africa diaspora and the Caribbean, with an emphasis on photography and lens-based practices. She is the author of An Eye for the Tropics (Duke University Press, 2006), Developing Blackness (The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, 2008), and Shine: The Visual Economy of Light in African Diasporic Aesthetic Practice (Duke University Press, 2015), recipient of the Charles Rufus Morey Award for distinguished book in the history of art from the College Art Association (2016), the Gordon K. and Sybil Lewis Award for theoretical and methodological contributions to Caribbean Studies from the Caribbean Studies Association (2016), and the James A. Porter Book Award in African American Art History from the James Porter Colloquium (2019).
Thompson is the co-editor (with Claire Tancons) of En Mas': Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean (D.A.P., 2015) and her articles have appeared in American Art, Art Bulletin, Art Journal, October, Representations, Small Axe, and The Drama Review. She has received grants and fellowships from the Andy Warhol Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Foundation, and the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) and was awarded the David C. Driskell Prize from the High Museum of Art in 2009.
Thompson has curated several exhibitions, including Bahamian Visions: Colonial Photographs of the Bahamas (2003); the Third National Exhibition (NE3) (2006); Developing Blackness (2008) at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas; An Account of a Voyage to Jamaica with the Unnatural History of That Place, Fred Wilson's reinstallation of the collections of the Institute of Jamaica (with Huey Copeland and Wayne Modest) (2007); and co-curated En Mas': Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean at the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans (with Claire Tancons) (2015), which travelled internationally through 2018.
Thompson is currently working on Black Light, a manuscript about Tom Lloyd, electronic light, and archival recovery in African American art and The Evidence of Things Not Photographed (forthcoming, Duke University Press), a book that examines notions of photographic absence, fugitivity and disappearance in colonial and postcolonial Jamaica. An article from the latter, “ ‘I WAS HERE BUT I DISAPEAR’: Ivanhoe ‘Rhygin’ Martin and Photographic Disappearance in Jamaica,” was published in Art Journal in 2018. Thompson is also developing a new digital and curatorial platform The Institute of the Unarchived, on photographic archives and their absences in the Caribbean.
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The Seminar is not open to the public and only for Princeton University faculty, students and staff.
Please RSVP to Shelby Sinclair, email@example.com