21st Century/New African and African Diaspora Writings and Arts: Caribbean
21st Century/New African and African Diaspora
Writings and Arts: Caribbean
Monday, March 25, 2019
LOCATION: Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life-NYU
238 Thompson Street, Grand Hall, 5th Floor
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African and African Diaspora writers and artists have met the 21st century with unprecedented new images and visions of themselves and of the diaspora around the world. They are reengendering themselves and acquiring new and active identities, social, political and sexual, in their writing and artistic processes. In this installment of the 21st Century/New African and African Diaspora Writings and Arts Series, women of Caribbean descent will examine and discuss their own works and the Caribbean as a diasporan site with literary and artistic productions, while paying close attention to changes taking place in the styles, artistic, political perspectives and visions of how to be of Caribbean descent in the world today, and how to mediate between multiple and diverse identity positions.
Join us for a discussion with artist Renee Cox; Vanessa Pérez Rosario (Modern Languages and Literatures, Brooklyn College); Rosie Gordon-Wallace (founder and senior curator of Diaspora Vibe Gallery and Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator); and Myriam J. A. Chancy (Hartley Burr Alexander Chair in the Humanities at Scripps College); moderated by Ifeona Fulani (Global Liberal Studies, NYU). Books will be available.
Myriam J. A. Chancy
Guggenheim Fellow and HBA Chair of the Humanities at Scripps College
Myriam J. A. Chancy is a Guggenheim Fellow and HBA Chair of the Humanities at Scripps College. Her novels include: The Loneliness of Angels (Peepal Tree 2010) winner of the 2011 Guyana Prize in Literature Caribbean Award, for Best Fiction 2010, The Scorpion’s Claw (Peepal Tree Press 2005), and Spirit of Haiti (Mango 2003), shortlisted in the Best First Book Category, Canada/Caribbean region of the Commonwealth Prize in 2004. Her academic publications include: From Sugar to Revolution: Women’s Visions from Haiti, Cuba & The Dominican Republic (WUP 2012), Framing Silence: Revolutionary Novels by Haitian Women (Rutgers 1997; ebook, 2011), and Searching for Safe Spaces: Afro-Caribbean Women Writers in Exile (Temple 1997) which was awarded the Choice OAB Award in 1998. She served as an editorial advisory board member for PMLA from 2010-12, as a Humanities Advisor for the Fetzer Institute from 2011-13, and as a 2018 advisor for the John S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
Renee Cox is one of the most controversial African American artists working today using her own body, both nude and clothed to celebrate black womanhood and criticize a society she often views as racist and sexist. She was born in Jamaica, into an upper middle-class family. Deeply concerned with the racial discrepancies in society, Cox explores black identity through photography, collage, video, and other media, using the body to displace religious symbols from the white-centric paradigm. In her first one-woman show at a New York gallery in 1998, Cox made herself the center of attention dressed in the colorful garb of a black superhero named Raje. One Cox photograph that created the most controversy was shown in the Yo Mama's Last Supper exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City in 2001. It was a remake of Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper with a nude Cox siting in for Jesus Christ. Responding to the outrage Cox responded: "I have a right to reinterpret the Last Supper as Leonardo Da Vinci created the Last Supper with people who look like him. The hoopla and the fury are because I'm a black female. It's about me having nothing to hide." Cox continues to push the envelope with her work by using new technologies that the digital medium of photography has to offer.
Clinical Professor, Global Liberal Studies Program at New York University
Ifeona Fulani teaches in the Global Liberal Studies Program at New York University. Her research interests include the Caribbean, African and Black British literatures and cultures. Fulani was editor of the volume of essays Archipelagos of Sound: Transnational Caribbeanities, Women and Music (University of West Indies Press, 2012). Her scholarly articles have been published in journals such as Small Axe, Anthurium and Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies. She is also a creative writer and author of a collection of short stories titled Ten Days in Jamaica (2012) and a novel, Seasons of Dust (1997), as well as stories published in the Beacon’s Best anthology series, in Small Axe, and in Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noir. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, both from New York University.
Founder and Senior Curator of Miami’s Diaspora Vibe Gallery and Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator (DVCAI)
Rosie Gordon-Wallace is the founder and senior curator of Miami’s Diaspora Vibe Gallery and Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator (DVCAI) which specializes in Caribbean and Latin American Art. DVCAI emphasizes exhibiting emerging artists and supports the development of new work by resident artists by offering workshops and other skill-building opportunities for young artists. The gallery also provides educational and outreach programs for the community. Diaspora Vibe also partners with the Florida Center for Literary Arts’ “One Community One Book” initiative, which sponsored a Conversation with Edwidge Danticat at Diaspora Vibe Gallery. The gallery featured artists Adrienne Chadwick, Francesca Lalanne, and Hubert Neal, Jr, in “Juxtaposition”; Asser Saint-Val, Rosa Naday Garmendia, Onajide Shabaka and Jacqueline Gopie during Art Basel Miami Beach and installation artist Jacquenette Arnette and Suriname artist, Kurt Nahar. A community activist, the recipient of many awards including The Images and Voices of Hope: What works: From Inspiration to Action award, Gordon-Wallace is dedicated to women’s issues and causes, and the artists she mentors, supports and nurtures. She has served on many non-profit boards, The Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts, Miami Dade College Art and Design Museum, National Performance Network| Visual Arts Network, Bayshore Lutheran Church and Design and Architecture High School.