[CANCELLED] Afrotropes and Art History’s Global Imagination - The Courtauld Institute of Art

[CANCELLED] Afrotropes and Art History’s Global Imagination

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[CANCELLED] Afrotropes and Art History’s Global Imagination

Vernon Square, Penton Rise, Kings Cross, London

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Glenn Ligon, Condition Report , 2000, iris print and iris print with serigraph, two parts, Each: 32 x 22.75 inches (81.3 x 57.8 cm); Edition of 20, 7 APs and 2 PPs; published by Jean Noblet Studio; Collection of the artist © Glenn Ligon; Courtesy of the artist, Hauser & Wirth, New York, Regen Projects, Los Angeles, Thomas Dane Gallery, London and Chantal Crousel, Paris.

  • Saturday 28 March 2020
    PLEASE NOTE: This Date Has Passed
    9:15 am - 6:30 pm

    Lecture Theatre 1, Vernon Square, Penton Rise, Kings Cross, London, WC1X 9EW


  • Keynote: Huey Copeland

Organised by

  • Dr. Sarah Hegenbart - Technical University Munich
  • Dr. Levi Prombaum - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

In the interest of public, staff and student safety, we have taken the decision to cancel a number of our upcoming events in light of the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. This event has been cancelled.


“…an afrotropic analytic requires methodologies mindful of temporal moments and material markers of different states of appearance and disappearance. The forms themselves continue to morph; meaning arises in the interstices, in moments of transmutation and exchange, so that art historical inquiry must be alert to the whole ecology that the afrotrope both participates in and actively produces.”
– Huey Copeland and Krista Thompson, in “Afrotropes: a Conversation with Huey Copeland and Krista Thompson, with Leah Dickerman, David Joselit, and Mignon Nixon”

This symposium will explore the afrotrope as an intervention into global art historiography. Huey Copeland and Krista Thompson introduced the afrotrope as an analytical framework to examine the circulation of motifs that feature centrally in African Diaspora aesthetics. The afrotrope’s facilitation of alternative theoretical models beyond Western epistemologies structured by linear conceptions of time and space is indebted to many different intellectual histories, including Mikhail Bakhtin’s ‘chronotope’ and its subsequent adoption in the work of Paul Gilory; as well as Hortense Spillers concept of the ‘pornotrope’. As such, the afrotrope requires a rethinking of “African” art history’s relationship to “Western” art history, and raises important questions about the transmission and translation of images and image cultures within and beyond the African Diaspora.

Throughout the symposium, we will interrogate the afrotrope as a site of novel intersections for scholarly inquiry, in cross-disciplinary conversations driven by art historians and contemporary artists engaged with new materialisms, postcolonial and decolonial studies, as well as critical race, feminist and queer theory.

09:15-09.30: Registration

09:30-09:40: Welcome, David Peters Corbett

09:40-10:00: Introduction, Sarah Hegenbart and Levi Prombaum

10:00-11:15: Keynote and discussion with Huey Copeland

11:15-11:45: Tea break

11:45-12:45: Session 1: Evan Ifekoya and Dhanveer Brar

12:45-13:45: Lunch

13:45-15:30: Session 2: Blue Curry, Natasha A. Kelly, and Meleko Mokgosi

15:30- 16:00: Tea break

16:00 – 17:15: Roundtable with all participants

17:15– 18:30: Wine reception

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