Observation and Diagnosis: Pathologizing Bodies, Medicalizing Space in the British Empire

Thu, Nov 5, 2020, 12:00 pm
Location: 
via Zoom
Audience: 
Public / Open To All
Speaker(s): 
Sponsor(s): 
The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

An event as part of the multi-part conference programme 'British Art and Natural Forces'
Keynote lecture by Anna Arabindan-Kesson

Over the last three decades art historians have increasingly turned their attention to how Empire plays an important force in the production and circulation of British Art. In particular these studies have reminded us how both art making and colonialism share a concern with the epistemology of vision. From the birds-eye to the microscopic, the creation of viewing positions has been crucial to the construction of meaning about peoples and places across the former British empire. My talk returns to this question of ‘how things come into view’ through the lens of medicine and its forms of observation. I focus on the production imagery that transformed non-white lives and spaces into, as Rana Hogarth has shown, ‘medical matter.’ Drawing on the work of Black and Indigenous writers like Sylvia Wynter and Eve Tuck, I want to reflect on the ways these forms of image-making continue to haunt our vision and what it means for us to see (through) Empire. Alongside these histories, I will examine how Black and Indigenous forms of medicine, healing and land-use redraw our perspectives, and our vision, of the past and its futures. Taking the decolonizing critiques and ethical frameworks of these artists, writers and scholars seriously, I wonder if British art history – indeed the field of art history – can dismantle in order to rebuild new ways of seeing and being in the world?

Register for the event here

Event Recording Notice: All in-person, video, and audio-based events may be recorded. By engaging in the above event, you consent to be photographed, filmed, and otherwise recorded for future department use. Participants waive all rights and any claims for payment or royalties connected with any exhibition, social media, or other publication of the materials. Please note you can hide your camera and/or mute your microphone at any time during a video and audio-based events.


 

More Upcoming Events

PIIRS Graduate Winter and Spring Funding

Black to the Future: My Adventures in Becoming Me

Tue, Apr 13, 2021, 4:30 pm
Location: via Zoom