FAU Americas Initiative Programs Analyze the Role of Art in Redressing the Legacies of Oppression

Americas Initiative


Monday, Jan 14, 2019

Florida Atlantic University’s Americas Initiative  will present a series of programs in January 2019 that address the role of art in redressing the legacies of oppression.  The programs are presented in association with “Decolonizing Refinement: Contemporary Pursuits in the Art of Edouard Duval-Carrié,” an exhibition currently on view in the University Galleries’ Schmidt Center Gallery. The phrase “decolonize” in this context means to return what has been taken to redress legacies of oppression. The term has been applied to all kinds of situations from gentrification, to education, to liberation movements, and in various locations and institutions. The exhibition will be open for viewing before, after and during all three public programs, and the public programs and exhibition are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted.

The first event, “Women’s Writings, The Economy, and Social Justice in the Caribbean,” will take place on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Building (Building #51), room 101, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus. This panel discussion will present how Caribbean literature and art reflect pressing gender, economic and social issues of the region, as well as how they have an immediate impact on South Florida communities. The panelists will focus on aspects related to women, social justice, music and visual arts. Participating FAU faculty include Patricia Fleitas, DMA, professor of music and director of choral and vocal studies; Mary Ann Gosser Esquilin, Ph.D., professor of Spanish and comparative literature; Stacy J. Lettman, Ph.D., assistant professor of English; and Sheryl Gifford, senior instructor of English. Tickets for this panel are $25 and can be purchased at www.fauevents.com or by calling 561-297-6124.

The second event, “Visualizing Decolonization,” will take place on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The all-day program begins with a breakfast reception at 10 a.m. at the Boca Museum of Art, where the exhibition “Imagining Florida: History and Myth in the Sunshine State,” is on display. Then at 1 p.m. there will be a lecture with Bree Newsome, an activist from Charlotte, North Carolina, best known for her act of civil disobedience on June 27, 2015, when she was arrested for removing the Confederate flag from the South Carolina state house grounds. The resulting publicity put pressure on state officials to remove the flag, and it was taken down permanently on July 10, 2015. Newsome’s lecture is titled “Tearing Hatred from the Sky” and will take place in the University Theatre on FAU’s Boca Raton campus.

After the lecture, there will be short presentations and then a panel discussion organized by Karen Leader, Ph.D., associate professor of art history at FAU. Participants include LaTanya Autry, Ph.D. candidate, University of Delaware and Co-Founder, #MuseumsAreNotNeutral; Erica Moiah James, Ph.D., assistant professor of art history, University of Miami; and Dylan Miner, Ph.D., associate professor and director of American Indian and Indigenous Studies, Michigan State University.

The final program in the series is “Decolonizing across Disciplines in the Americas Symposium,” which takes place on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Performing Arts Building, room 101.  This one-day symposium brings together scholars from FAU and other Florida institutions to examine and discuss decolonization within historical, literary, political, cultural, racial, gendered and other contexts of the Americas conceived broadly, with awareness of the ways Florida, and South Florida especially, is a nexus of hemispherical interconnections. The symposium builds on the scholarly work on decolonization in the context of cultural intersections between Haiti and Florida related to the “Decolonizing Refinement” exhibition and catalogue that was organized and originally presented at Florida State University in the spring 2018.  This symposium expands the discussion begun at FSU by considering decolonization in a larger hemispherical context. The symposium is organized by Taylor Hagood, Ph.D., professor of American literature and director of the Study of the Americas Initiative at FAU.

Others panelists will include “Decolonizing Refinement” organizers, curators and catalogue authors: Paul B. Niell, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Art History, Florida State University; Michael D. Carrasco, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Art History, Florida State University; and Lesley A. Wolff, graduate fellow in American Art, Norton Museum of Art.

“Decolonizing Refinement: Contemporary Pursuits in the Art of Edouard Duval-Carrié” remains on view at the University Galleries, FAU Schmidt Center Gallery until Saturday, Feb. 2. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 1 to 4 p.m. and Saturdays, 1 to 5 p.m. Group and class tours are encouraged to visit during public and alternative times by appointment.

 This exhibition and these public programs, along with a recent lecture by Edouard Duval-Carrié at the “Decolonizing Refinement” opening, launch FAU’s Study of the America’s Initiative, which is intended to support interdisciplinary research, engaging in the comparative analysis of culture, history, society, politics, music, art, media, language and literature of the Americas.

The University Galleries, FAU have an active Museum Education Program and welcome partnering with middle and high school teachers to provide exhibition-related outreach programs to the schools and field experiences at University Galleries. For more information, contact Khaulah Nuruddin, museum education coordinator, at knuruddin2013@fau.edu.

University Galleries, FAU 2018-19 exhibitions and programs are supported by the Isadore and Kelly Friedman University Galleries Fund; the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County; Florida Department of State Division of Cultural Affairs; Florida Council on the Arts; and the R.A. Ritter Foundation. Museum Education Programs are made possible by the Kaye Arts Integration Endowment and Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin Counties. For more information about FAU University Galleries, visit www.fau.edu/galleries.


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