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Women and Migration

Deborah Willis
Ellyn Toscano
Kalia Brooks Nelson

List of Contributors

Texte intégral

1Sama Alshaibi’s work explores spaces of conflict and the power struggles that arise in the aftermath of war and exile. Drawing from her experiences as a Palestinian-Iraqi naturalized US citizen, she uses her body as an allegorical site that makes the byproducts of such struggles visible. Alshaibi’s monograph, Sand Rushes In (2015) presents her Silsila series, which probes the human dimensions of migration, borders, and environmental demise. Silsila was exhibited at venues including the Venice Biennale, Honolulu Biennale, and Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Alshaibi has also exhibited in solo and group shows at MoMA, Bronx Museum, Denver Museum of Contemporary Art, Ayyam Gallery, and the Thessaloniki International Film Festival. She received a Fulbright Fellowship to Palestine (2014–2015), and was named University of Arizona’s 1885 Distinguished Scholar as a Professor of Photography.

2Grace Aneiza Ali is an independent curator and a faculty member in the Department of Art and Public Policy, Tisch School of the Arts, NYU. She has organized two major exhibitions in the US focused on contemporary Guyanese artists at Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art and the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute. Ali is also the Editorial Director of the award-winning OF NOTE magazine, an online magazine that features global artists using the arts as catalysts for activism and social change. Ali is a Fulbright Scholar, World Economic Forum Global Shaper, and Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Curatorial Fellow. She was born in Guyana and lives in New York City.

3Anna Arabindan-Kesson is an assistant professor of African American and Black Diasporic art with a joint appointment in the Departments of African American Studies and Art and Archaeology at Princeton University. Born in Sri Lanka, she completed undergraduate degrees in New Zealand and Australia, worked as a Registered Nurse in the UK and finally moved to the United States in 2007 to begin a PhD in African American Studies and Art History at Yale University. In her teaching and research, she focuses on African American, Caribbean, and British Art, with an emphasis on histories of race, empire, and transatlantic visual culture in the long nineteenth century. She is currently completing a book entitled The Currency of Cotton: Art, Empire and Commerce 1780–1900 examining processes of cultural exchange underpinned by histories of colonialism, and the legacies of these encounters in contemporary art practice. She has been the recipient of several fellowships, including from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Winterthur Library, Museum and Gardens and the Paul Mellon Center for Research in British Art. She was awarded an ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship along with Professor Mia Bagneris of Tulane University, to complete a book entitled Beyond Recovery: Reframing the Dialogues of Early African Diasporic Art and Visual Culture 1700–1900.

4Isolde Brielmaier, a scholar and curator, is Assistant Professor of Critical Studies in the Department of Photography, Imaging and Emerging Media at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University where she focuses on contemporary art and global visual culture, as well as media and technology as platforms within which to rethink storytelling, the politics of representation, and mobility in its broadest sense. She also serves as Curator-at-Large at the Tang Museum. Isolde has written extensively on contemporary art and culture, including numerous exhibition catalogue essays, journal articles, and reviews as well as books. Among her distinctions, Isolde has received fellowships from the Mellon and Ford foundations as well as the Social Science Research Council (SSRC). She serves on several non-profit boards and sits on the Board of Trustees of the New Museum. Isolde is deeply committed to the promotion of arts education, global women’s issues, and criminal justice reform. She holds a PhD from Columbia University.

5Kalia Brooks Nelson is a New-York-based independent curator and educator. Brooks Nelson is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Photography and Imaging at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Brooks Nelson holds a PhD in Aesthetics and Art Theory from the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts. She received her MA in Curatorial Practice from the California College of the Arts in 2006, and was a Helena Rubinstein Fellow in Critical Studies at the Whitney Independent Study Program 2007/2008. She has served as a consulting curator with the City of New York through the Department of Cultural Affairs and Gracie Mansion Conservancy. Brooks Nelson is also an ex-officio trustee on the Board of the Museum of the City of New York.

6Alessandra Capodacqua is a photographer, teacher and a curator who lives and works in Florence, Italy. As an artist, she works with a variety of devices, from pinhole, toy, and digital cameras, to mobile to alternative printing process. She teaches photography in Italian and in English for national and international schools and colleges. Alessandra has curated exhibitions of photography and helped organize festivals of photography in Italy and abroad, such as the International Triennial Festival of Photography Backlight in Tampere, Finland and SI Fest 2016 in Savignano sul Rubicone. Her main area of interest is documentary photography, photojournalism, street photography, and visual storytelling. She is frequently invited to jury International Photo Awards and Prizes, and is a regular contributor to the LensCulture website. Her photographs are shown nationally and internationally. Her work is in private and public collections, including the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence, the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, the MUSINF in Senigallia, and the Museo di Montelupone. Major publications include: Autoritratto in Assenza (2016); Il Palazzo Magnifico (2009); Autori — Esperienze di fotografa stenopeica; Zone di Frontiera Urbana (2007); Valdarno, una visione in movimento (2005); Firenze Fotografa (2000).

7Sandrine Colard holds a PhD in Art History from Columbia University, and a MA in Africana Studies from New York University. She is a historian of Modern and Contemporary African Arts and Photography, with a focus on Central Africa. Based on research conducted in Belgium, Kinshasa and Lubumbashi (DRC), her current book project examines the history of photography in the colonial Congo (1885–1960). She has also published on the ‘archival turn’ in African arts, and in particular on the work of contemporary Congolese artist Sammy Baloji. She has taught and lectured at Columbia University and Barnard College, and has co-curated the exhibition The Expanded Subject: New Perspectives in Photographic Portraiture from Africa at the Wallach Art Gallery (2016). Among others, Sandrine’s research was supported by fellowships from the Belgian-American Educational Foundation (BAEF), the Musée du Quai Branly, and the Pierre and Maria-Gaetana Matisse Fellowship Fund for 20th Century Art. Before joining NYU, Sandrine was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institut National d›Histoire de l›Art in Paris, affiliated with the ‘Globalization and Emergence of New Creative Scenes in Africa’ project.

8Patricia Cronin’s work examines issues of gender, sexuality and social justice and has been exhibited in the US and abroad, including Shrine For Girls at the 56th Venice Biennale that traveled to The FLAG Art Foundation, NYC and The LAB, Dublin, Ireland. Other solo exhibitions were presented at the Capitoline Museum’s Centrale Montemartini Museum; Newcomb Art Museum, Tulane University; and Brooklyn Museum. Cronin is the recipient of numerous awards including: the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant and two Pollock-Krasner Grants. Her works are in numerous museum collections, including the National Gallery of Art and Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC and Gallery of Modern Art and Kelvingrove Museum, Glasgow, Scotland. She is the author of Harriet Hosmer: Lost and Found, A Catalogue Raisonné (2009) and The Zenobia Scandal: A Meditation on Male Jealousy (2013) and is Professor of Art at Brooklyn College/CUNY.

9Arlene Davila’s work explores cultural politics in Latinx/Latin America focusing on issues of consumption, visual culture, urbanity and political economy. Davila is Professor of Anthropology and American Studies at New York University.

10Alessandra Di Maio is Associate Professor of English and Postcolonial Studies at the University of Palermo, Italy. She divides her time between Italy and the US, where she taught at several universities after earning her PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her research includes postcolonial, black, diasporic, migratory, gender studies and transnational cultural identities. Her recent projects include a study of African Italian literature and the Black Mediterranean. She has been the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship, a UCLA Mellon postdoctoral fellowship, and a MacArthur Research and Writing Grant. Among her publications are Tutuola at the University. The Italian Voice of a Yoruba Ancestor (2000); An African Renaissance (2006); Wor(l)ds in Progress. A Study of Contemporary Migrant Writings (2008); and Dedica a Wole Soyinka (2012). She has translated into Italian Nuruddin Farah, Chris Abani, Caryl Phillips, and Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka.

11Kathy Engel is Associate Arts Professor and Chair of the Department of Art & Public Policy, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. Between 1980 and 2008, she co-founded and worked as an organizer, director, cultural worker, producer, communications and strategic consultant for numerous social justice projects and organizations, locally, nationally, and internationally. Her poems and essays have appeared widely in journals and anthologies. Books include Ruth’s Skirts (2007); The Kitchen, accompanying the art of German Perez (2011), and Banish the Tentative (1987). She co-edited We Begin Here: Poems for Palestine and Lebanon with Kamal Boullata (2007). She is co-producer of the videos talking nicaragua (1983), and On The Cusp (2008). For more information, visit

12Allana Finley hails from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Before moving to Johannesburg in 2001 from Los Angeles/New York, she worked in fashion for such brands as Eileen Fisher, Tiffany & Co and Gucci America. While living in Los Angeles, she honed her skills as a fashion stylist, focusing on product placement and the marketing of fashion brands through celebrity client relationships. She served as Head of Wardrobe in Oxygen Media’s inaugural year of operation, and dressed the likes of Candice Bergen and Tasha Smith during that time. Over the past fifteen years, her focus has been on business development and strategic marketing for leading event and designer development platform African Fashion International; a malaria elimination initiative founded by Robert Brozin, Goodbye Malaria; founding board member of the first ever South African Menswear Week; leading African designers Stoned Cherrie, CHULAAP, Rich Mnisi and online platforms and She is a contributor to the book African Catwalk by Per Anders Pettersson (2016) which showcases an unexpected side of the African continent as it examines the fast growing fashion industry in Africa. This book is the first time the emerging African fashion industry has been documented in exclusive behind-the-scenes photographs.

13Cheryl Finley is Associate Professor and Director of Visual Studies in the Department of the History of Art at Cornell University. She was trained in the History of Art and African American Studies at Yale University. Her chapter in this volume, ‘Löis Mailou Jones in the World’, is taken from her work examining the global art economy, focusing upon artists, museums, pedagogy, biennials and tourism. A longtime scholar of travel, tourism and migration, Finley is also engaged in the collaborative project ‘Visualizing Travel, Gendering Diaspora’ with Leigh Raiford (University of California, Berkeley) and Heike Raphael-Hernandez (University of Würtzburg) funded by the American Council of Learned Societies. Finley’s research has been supported by the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, the Ford Foundation, the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

14Karen Finley works in a variety of mediums such as installation, video, performance, public and visual art, music, and literature. She has performed and exhibited internationally. She is the author of eight books, including her latest, the twenty-fifth-anniversary edition of Shock Treatment (2015). Her work includes ‘Mandala: Reimagined Columbus Circle’, an interactive walk that examines the symbols and history of Columbus Circle; ‘Artist Anonymous’, a self-help meeting for those addicted to art; ‘Written in Sand’, a performance of her writings on AIDS; ‘Open Heart’, a Holocaust memorial at Camp Gusen, Austria; ‘Unicorn, Gratitude Mystery’, a solo performance that explores the psychological portrayals of power that drives American election politics; and ‘Sext Me if You Can’, where Finley creates commissioned portraits inspired by ‘sexts’ received from the public. Grabbing Pussy was published in 2018. A recipient of many awards and grants, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, she is an arts professor in Art and Public Policy at New York University.

15Tiffany M. Gill is the inaugural Cochran Scholar and Associate Professor in the Department of Black American Studies and the Department of History at the University of Delaware. Her research and teaching interests include African American History, Women’s History, the history of black entrepreneurship, fashion and beauty studies, and travel and migration throughout the African Diaspora. A graduate of Georgetown and Rutgers Universities, she is the author of Beauty Shop Politics: African American Women’s Activism in the Beauty Industry (2010) which was awarded the 2010 Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Prize by the Association of Black Women Historians. In addition, she has served as a subject editor for African American National Biography, and has had her work published and reprinted in several journals and edited volumes. Before joining the faculty of the University of Delaware, Gill taught at the University of Texas at Austin and was a recipient of the 2010 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award for excellence in undergraduate education. Currently, she is at work on a book manuscript chronicling the history of black international leisure travel since World War I.

16Gayatri Gopinath is Associate Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University, and Director of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality. She is the author of Impossible Desires: Queer Diasporas and South Asian Public Cultures (2005), and has published numerous essays on gender, sexuality and diaspora in journals such as GLQ, Social Text, positions, and Diaspora. Her book, Unruly Visions: The Aesthetic Practices of Queer Diaspora, was published in 2018. Her recent articles and book chapters related to this project include: ‘Queer Visual Excavations: Akram Zaatari, Hashem El Madani, and the Reframing of History in Lebanon’ (2017); ‘”Who’s Your Daddy?” Queer Diasporic Reframings of the Region’ (2013); ‘Archive, Affect and the Everyday: Queer Diasporic Re-Visions’ (2010) and ‘Queer Regions: Locating Lesbians in Sancharram’ (2007).

17Sharon Harley, Associate Professor in the African American Studies Department at the University of Maryland, College Park, researches and teaches black women’s labor history and racial and gender politics in the African Diaspora. A leading scholar in the field of black women’s history, she is the editor and a contributor to the noted anthologies Sister Circle: Black Women and Work (2002) and Women’s Labor in the Global Economy: Speaking in Multiple Voices (2007). Her most recent essay is titled ‘The Solidarity of Humanity: Anna Julia Cooper’ s Personal Encounters and Thinking about the Intersectionality of Race, Gender, and Oppression.’ As a fellow at the Harvard’s Hutchins Center, she examined the political activism and romance between W. E. B. Du Bois and his second wife, international political and cultural activist Shirley Graham.

18Marianne Hirsch writes about the transmission of memories of violence across generations, combining feminist theory with memory studies in global perspective. Her recent books include The Generation of Postmemory: Writing and Visual Culture After the Holocaust (2012); Ghosts of Home: The Afterlife of Czernowitz in Jewish Memory (2010), co-authored with Leo Spitzer; and Rites of Return: Diaspora Poetics and the Politics of Memory (2011), co-edited with Nancy K. Miller. Hirsch is the William Peterfield Trent Professor of Comparative Literature and Gender Studies at Columbia University. She is one of the founders of Columbia’s Center for the Study of Social Difference. She is a former President of the Modern Language Association of America and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

19Jessica Ingram is a photo-conceptual artist working primarily with themes related to power, race, and American history. She uses photography, video, and audio to explore the ethos of communities and the power of belonging. She received her BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and her MFA from California College of Arts & Crafts in San Francisco. Her traveling solo exhibition ‘Road Through Midnight’ was exhibited at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, The Tennessee State Museum in Nashville, and the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. She was included in the exhibition ‘Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art’ at the Nasher Museum, traveling to the Speed Museum in Louisville. Her collaborative projects have been featured at the Sundance Film Festival and installed publicly at the Oakland International Airport, The Birmingham International Airport, and The Oakland Museum of California.

20M. Neelika Jayawardane is Associate Professor of English at the State University of New York-Oswego, and an Honorary Research Associate at the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa (CISA), University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa). She is a founding member of the online magazine, Africa is a Country, where she was Senior Editor from 2010–2016. Her scholarly publications focus on the nexus between South African literature, photography, and the transnational/transhistorical implications of colonialism and apartheid on the body. Jayawardane contributed the introductory essay for the South Africa pavilion’s 57th Venice Biennale catalogue, and essays for The Walther Collection’s publication (2017) and other artists’ catalogues. Her writing is featured in Al Jazeera English, Transitions, Aperture, Contemporary&, Art South Africa, Contemporary Practices: Visual Art from the Middle East, Even Magazine, and Research in African Literatures.

21Kellie Jones is Associate Professor in Art History and Archaeology and a Faculty Fellow with the Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS) at Columbia University. Her research interests include African American and African Diaspora artists, Latinx and Latin American Artists, and issues in contemporary art and museum theory. Jones has received numerous awards for her work from the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, Harvard University; Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant and a term as Scholar-in-Residence at the Terra Foundation for American Art in Europe in Giverny, France. In 2016 she was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow. Jones’s writings have appeared in exhibition catalogues and such journals as NKA, Artforum, Flash Art, Atlantica, and Third Text. She is the author of two books, EyeMinded: Living and Writing Contemporary Art (2011), and South of Pico: African American Artists in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s (2017). Jones has also worked as a curator for over three decades and has numerous major national and international exhibitions to her credit. Her exhibition ‘Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles, 1960–1980’, at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, was named one of the best exhibitions of 2011 and 2012 by Artforum, and best thematic show nationally by the International Association of Art Critics (AICA). She was co-curator of ‘Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the 1960s’ (Brooklyn Museum), named one the best exhibitions of 2014 by Artforum.

22Roshini Kempadoo is an international photographer, media artist and Reader at the University of Westminster, London, creating photographs, artworks and writings that interpret, analyse and reimagine historical experiences and memories as women’s visual narratives. Central to this is to reconceptualise the visual archive, the subject of her monograph Creole in the Archive: Imagery, Presence and Location of the Caribbean Figure (2016). Roshini is a cultural activist and advocate. She was instrumental in establishing the association of black photographers Autograph ABP, established at Rivington Place, London and contributed to the development of Ten.8 International Photographic Magazine (1986–1990). Roshini studied visual communications and photography, creating photographs for exhibition including the seminal digital montage series ‘ECU: European Currency Unfolds’ (1992), Laing Gallery, Newcastle. She was a member of Format Women’s Picture Agency (1983–2003). Roshini’s artwork FaceUp explores taking selfies, mobile technology and diasporic urban life for the exhibition ‘Ghosts: Keith Piper and Roshini Kempadoo’ (2015), Lethaby Gallery, London. Her project ‘Follow the Money’ revisits the question of economic migration and inequality, women’s bodies and European diaspora narratives. She is an editorial board member of Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism.

23Sarah K. Khan, a multimedia artist/journalist, focuses on women, migrants and food. Sarah makes visible their invisible lives via photography, cartography, film and writing. She partners with likeminded organizations and individuals to provoke thought about social injustices related to food, gender, culture, and the environment. Her arts training includes drawing in Mughal/Persian miniature techniques under Bashir Ahmed, Pakistan and The Prince’s School, London, UK; paper- and bookmaking at Haystack Mountain School of Art, Maine; and with Mary Hark, Madison WI; letterpress printmaking intensives with Amos Paul Kennedy Jr., Gordo AL; photography mentoring from Faisal Abdu’Allah, Madison WI; collaborations with Meeta Mastani on handmade paper, block prints and textiles, Rajasthan India. Sarah earned a BA in Middle Eastern history/Arabic (Smith College), two Masters (public health, nutrition, Columbia University) and a PhD (plant sciences, NY Botanical Garden/ CUNY). She has received grants and fellowships to pursue her work. She is fluent in French, proficient in Urdu/Hindi and Arabic and is based in NY, NY/Madison, WI.

24Treva Lindsey is an Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at The Ohio State University. Her research and teaching interests include African American women’s history, and black popular and expressive culture, black feminism(s). Her first book is entitled Colored No More: Reinventing Black Womanhood in Washington D.C. (2017). She is the inaugural Equity for Women and Girls of Color Fellow at Harvard University (2016–2017). She is currently working on a book project tentatively titled ‘Hear Our Screams: Black Women, Violence, and The Struggle for Justice’. She is the recipient of several awards and fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the National Women’s Studies Association, and the Coca Cola Critical Difference for Women Committee. She is a guest contributor to forums such as Al Jazeera, BET, Complex Magazine, and Cosmopolitan.

25Bettina L. Love is an award-winning professor at University of Georgia. Her research focuses on the ways in which urban youth negotiate Hip-Hop music and culture to form social, cultural, and political identities to create new and sustaining ways of thinking about urban education and intersectional social justice. For her work in the field, in 2016 Love was named the Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellow at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. In April 2017, Love participated in a one-on-one public lecture with bell hooks focused on the liberatory education practices of Black and Brown children. In 2014, she was invited to the White House Research Conference on Girls to discuss her work focused on the lives of Black girls. She is the author of the book Hip Hop’s Li’l Sistas Speak: Negotiating Hip Hop Identities and Politics in the New South (2012).

26Maaza Mengiste is a novelist and essayist. Her debut novel, Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, was selected by the Guardian as one of the ten best contemporary African books and named one of the best books of 2010 by Christian Science Monitor, Boston Globe and other publications. Maaza’s fiction and nonfiction examines the individual lives at stake during migration, war, and exile, and considers the intersections of photography and violence. Her work can be found in The New Yorker, Granta, the Guardian, the New York Times, BBC Radio, World Literature Today, Words Without Borders, Lo straniero, and Lettre International, among other places.

27Editha Mesina was born in Quezon City, Philippines. Her photographs have been exhibited at the Cuchifritos Gallery, New York, Artist Space, New York; Clocktower Gallery, New York; Ceres Gallery, New York; A.I.R. Gallery, New York; Parrish Art Museum, Southampton; Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown; Philip Slein Gallery, St. Louis; Palais De Glace, Buenos Aires. Mesina is a member of the Faculty at NYU, Tisch’s Department of Photography and Imaging. She is a 2006 Alex G. Nason New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Photography.

28Jennifer L. Morgan is Professor of History in the department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University where she also serves as Chair. She is the author of Laboring Women: Gender and Reproduction in the Making of New World Slavery (2004) and the co-editor of Connexions: Histories of Race and Sex in America (2016). Her research examines the intersections of gender and race in in the Black Atlantic world. She has published articles on women in the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade entitled ‘Accounting for Excruciating Torment: Trans-Atlantic Passages’ and ‘Archives and Histories of Racial Capitalism’. She is currently at work on a project that considers colonial numeracy, racism and the rise of the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade tentatively entitled ‘Accounting for the Women in Slavery’.

29Joan Morgan is an award-winning feminist author and a doctoral candidate in NYU’s American Studies program. A pioneering hip-hop journalist, Morgan coined the term ‘hip-hop feminism’ in 1999, when she published the groundbreaking book, When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost. Her book has been used in college coursework across the country. Regarded internationally as an expert on the topics of hip-hop and gender, Morgan has made numerous television and radio appearances — among them MTV, BET, VH-1, CNN, WBAI’s The Spin: The All Women’s Media Panel and The Melissa Harris Perry Show. Morgan has been a Visiting Instructor at Duke University where she taught ‘The History of Hip-Hop Journalism’, a Visiting Research Scholar at Vanderbilt University and Visiting Lecturer at Stanford University’s Institute for the Diversity of the Arts where she was the recipient of the prestigious 2013 Dr. St. Clair Drake Teaching Award for her course ‘The Pleasure Principle: A Post-Hip Hop Search for a Black Feminist Politics of Pleasure’. She is the first Visiting Scholar to ever receive the award. She is also a recipient of the 2015 Woodrow Wilson Women’s Studies Dissertation Fellowship, the 2015 Penfield Fellowship and the 2016 American Fellowship Award. Morgan’s dissertation is entitled ‘It’s About Time We Got Off: Claiming a Pleasure Politic in Black Feminist Thought’.

30Wangechi Mutu, a Kenyan born artist working between New York and Nairobi, studied at The Cooper Union and Yale University School of Art. Mutu participated in the 56th International Exhibition of Contemporary Art, Venice Biennale (2015) and has exhibited in solo shows worldwide including the Deutsche Guggenheim Museum, Berlin; Musée D’art Contemporain de Montréal; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; the Brooklyn Museum, amongst others. Mutu has presented solo exhibitions at Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle, Belgium and The Contemporary Austin, TX. Through a variety of media, including painting-collage, sculpture, performance and video, her work explores questions about self-image, gender constructs, cultural trauma and environmental destruction.

31Pamela Newkirk is an award-winning journalist and multifaceted scholar whose work addresses the historical absence of multidimensional portraits of African descendants in scholarship and popular culture. Her latest book Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga (2015) examines how prevalent and pernicious racial attitudes contributed to the 1906 exhibition of a young Congolese man in the Bronx Zoo monkey house. Spectacle was listed among the Best Books of 2015 by NPR, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, The Huffington Post Black Voices and The Root, and won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Non-Fiction Literature and the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation Legacy Award. Newkirk is the editor of Letters from Black America (2011) and A Love No Less: More Than Two Centuries of African American Love Letters (2003), and is the author of Within the Veil: Black Journalists, White Media (2002). The book, which examines how race overtly and covertly influences news coverage, won the National Press Club Award for Media Criticism. Newkirk holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from New York University and Columbia University, respectively, and is professor of journalism and director of undergraduate studies in New York University’s Arthur Carter Journalism Institute. She previously worked at four successive news organizations, including New York Newsday where she was part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning team. Her articles on media, race and African American art and culture have appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Nation and Artnews.

32Lorie Novak is an artist and Professor of Photography & Imaging at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and Associate Faculty at The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. Her photographs, installations, and Internet projects explore issues of memory and transmission, the relationship between the intimate and the public, and the shifting cultural meanings of photographs. Her work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions, and she is the recipient of a 2016 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Photography. In her ‘Above The Fold’ project, she has saved the front-page sections of the New York Times from 1999 to the present and categorized them according to content of the photograph above the fold. She is also Director and Founder, Tisch Future Imagemakers, a participatory photography project offering free digital photography classes to NYC area high school students. For more information, see https://www.

33Vanessa Pérez-Rosario is Associate Professor of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies and managing editor of Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism. She is author of Becoming Julia de Burgos: The Making of a Puerto Rican Icon (2014) and editor of Hispanic Caribbean Literature of Migration: Narratives of Displacement (2010). She recently completed a translation manuscript of Mayra Santos-Febres’s ‘Boat People’ and has edited and translated the manuscript, ‘I Am My Own Path: A Bilingual Anthology of the Writings of Julia de Burgos.’ Pérez-Rosario is on the board of Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project at the University of Houston, and former co-chair of the Latino Studies section of LASA.

34Misan Sagay is an award-winning filmmaker, screenwriter and producer. She won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture for Fox Searchlight’s box office hit, ‘BELLE’. The Belle script, nominated for a Humanitas Prize, was inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate mixed-race daughter of a British admiral who was raised by her aristocratic aunt and uncle. Sagay’s producing and screenwriting credits include ‘Secret Laughter of Women’, starring Colin Firth and Nia Long, and the award-winning, critically acclaimed ABC television movie, ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God’, starring Halle Berry and executive produced by Oprah Winfrey. Sagay co-wrote ‘Guerrilla’ with John Ridley for Sky Atlantic and Showtime. She is writing ‘Battersea Rise’ for BBC, ‘Imprinted’ for ITV and ‘Burma Boys’ for Warner Bros. Misan Sagay is a member of BAFTA and the Academy for Motion Pictures where she sits on the Academy Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowships Committee and on the Writers Executive Branch.

35Sirpa Salenius, native of Helsinki, taught at the University of Tokyo and at American university study abroad programs in Rome and Florence before moving to Finland to teach English and American literature at the University of Eastern Finland in 2016. Her conference presentations, lectures, and publications focus on Transatlantic Studies, in particular on American artists and writers in Italy. Her work looks at marginalization, race, gender, and sexuality, and the transgression of borders — social, cultural, and geographical. Her books include An Abolitionist Abroad: Sarah Parker Remond in Cosmopolitan Europe (2016), Rose Elizabeth Cleveland: First Lady and Literary Scholar (2014), and an essay collection, edited together with Beth L. Lueck and Nancy Lusignan Schultz, Transatlantic Conversations: Nineteenth-Century American Women’s Encounters with Italy and the Atlantic World (2016). She has also co-edited an essay collection on Race and Transatlantic Identities (2017).

36Gunja SenGupta’s interests lie in nineteenth-century US and slavery/abolition in the Indian Ocean; sectional conflict; African American and women’s history. Her first book, For God and Mammon: Evangelicals and Entrepreneurs, Masters and Slaves in Territorial Kansas (1996), dealt with sectional conflict and consensus. In From Slavery to Poverty: The Racial Origins of Welfare in New York, 1840–1918 (2009), she explored welfare debates as sites for negotiating identities of race, gender, and nation. Her articles have appeared in numerous journals including the American Historical Review, Journal of Negro (African American) History, Civil War History, and Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art. Her current projects, funded by Melon, Whiting, Wolfe, and Tow fellowships/grants, include one on nineteenth-century United States and slavery/abolition/empire in the Indian Ocean; and another on the history, memory and films of the Black Atlantic.

37Debora Spini teaches Social Foundations at New York University in Florence. She is the author of various essays and book chapters in English and Italian on topics such as the transformation of public spaces, crisis of the modern self, secularization and post secularization. Her research interests focus on religion and political conflict, with a special concentration on gender as well as on monotheism and violence. On these topics, she has given lectures and participated in conferences and seminars in Europe, US, India and Brasil. She is the author of the monograph La società civile post nazionale (2006). With D. Armstrong, J. Gilson and V. Bello Spini co-edited the volume Civil Society and International Governance (2010). In her capacity as Vice President of the Forum for the Problems of Peace and War ( she has promoted research on gender, religion and identity, now collected in the volume Giovani musulmane in Italia. Percorsi biografici e pratiche quotidiane (2015). Spini is a member of various scholarly societies including the Società Italiana di Filosofia Politica and the Società Italiana di Teoria Critica.

38Ellyn Toscano is Senior Director of Programing, Partnerships and Community Engagement, NYU in Brooklyn and former Executive Director of New York University Florence. She is the founder of La Pietra Dialogues and the founding producer of The Season, a summer arts festival in Florence, Italy. Toscano co-organized Black Portraitures conference at NYU Florence and produced the exhibition ‘ReSignifications’, held at three venues in Florence, Italy. She is a member of the Boards of the Harbor Conservancy, New York, Museo Marino Marini in Florence, Italy; of the John Brademas Center, New York; the Italian Advisory Council of the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Umbertide, Italy; and the Comitato Promotore of the Festival degli Scrittori and the Premio Gregor von Rezzori, Santa Maddalena Foundation, Donnini, Italy. Before arriving at New York University Florence, Toscano served as Chief of Staff and Counsel to Congressman Jose Serrano of New York, was his chief policy advisor and directed his work on the Appropriations Committee. Toscano also served as counsel to the New York State Assembly Committee on Education for nine years and served on the boards of several prominent arts and cultural institutions in New York City, including The Bronx Museum of the Arts and the Brooklyn Academy of Music (representative of the Borough President), A lawyer by training, Toscano earned an LLM in International Law from New York University School of Law.

39Imani Uzuri is a vocalist, composer and cultural worker who has been called ‘a post-modernist Bessie Smith’ by The Village Voice. Her work reflects her rural North Carolina roots singing spirituals and hymns with her grandmother and extended family. Uzuri has worked internationally in venues and festivals including Lincoln Center Out of Doors, SummerStage, Joe’s Pub, Public Theater, Performa Biennial, France’s Festival Sons d’hiver, London’s ICA, and MoMA. Uzuri has collaborated with a wide range of noted artists across various artistic disciplines. She is composer and co-lyricist for the musical GIRL Shakes Loose, selected for the 2016 O’Neill National Music Theater Conference. She was a Park Avenue Armory Artist-In-Residence in 2015–2016, a Jerome Foundation Composer/Sound Artist Fellow in 2016–17 and the recipient of a Map Fund award. In 2016 Uzuri made her Lincoln Center American Songbook debut as well as being a featured performer on BET for Black Girls Rock. She received her MA in 2016 from Columbia University in African American studies researching the liturgy, performativity and ‘subversive salvation’ of New Orleans-based preacher and artist Sister Gertrude Morgan (1900–80). She has written essays for The Feminist Wire and Ebony and her work is currently included in the anthology BAX 2016: Best American Experimental Writing. Uzuri is the founder and artistic director of Revolutionary Choir, community singing gatherings formed to teach historical and new songs of resistance and resilience. See

40Cheryl A. Wall, a distinguished critic in the field of African American literary studies, is Board of Governors Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English at Rutgers University and the author of A Very Short Introduction to the Harlem Renaissance (2016). Wall is also the author of Worrying the Line: Black Women Writers, Lineage, and Literary Tradition (2005) and Women of the Harlem Renaissance (1995), and the editor of Changing Our Own Words: Criticism, Theory, and Writing by Black Women (1989). She has edited two volumes of writing by Zora Neale Hurston for the Library of America — Novels and Short Stories (1995) and Folklore, Memoirs, and Other Writings (1995); with Linda Holmes, she co-edited Savoring the Salt: The Legacy of Toni Cade Bambara (2008).

41Deborah Willis is University Professor and Chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and has an affiliated appointment with the College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Social & Cultural Analysis, Africana Studies, where she teaches courses on photography and imaging, iconicity, and cultural histories visualizing the black body, women, and gender. Her research examines photography’s multifaceted histories, visual culture, the photographic history of Slavery and Emancipation, contemporary women photographers and beauty. She received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship and was a Richard D. Cohen Fellow in African and African American Art, Hutchins Center, Harvard University and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow. Professor Willis received the NAACP Image Award in 2014 for her co-authored book (with Barbara Krauthamer) Envisioning Emancipation. Other notable projects include The Black Female Body A Photographic History (2002); Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers–1840 to the Present (2002); Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present (2009); Michelle Obama: The First Lady in Photographs (2009), a NAACP Image Award Literature Winner; and Black Venus 2010: They Called Her ‘Hottentot’ (2010).

42Francille Rusan Wilson is an intellectual and labor historian whose research examines the intersections between black labor movements, black intellectuals, and black women’s history during the Jim Crow era. Her book, The Segregated Scholars: Black Social Scientists and the Creation of Black Labor Studies, 1890–1950 (2006) is a collective biography of the world and works of fifteen scholar-activists. The Segregated Scholars was awarded the Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Prize for the best book in black women’s history by the Association of Black Women Historians. Wilson’s works in progress include a study of the impact of racism and sexism on black women lawyers and social scientists before the Civil Rights Act and a history of black history movements, 1890–2015. She is Associate Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, and History at the University of Southern California and the current National Director of the Association of Black Women Historians.

43Paulette Young, Cultural Anthropologist and Curator, is an independent scholar who lectures and provides ethnographic and archival research for cultural, educational, and business institutions. She is an educator and advisor in the visual and performing arts for a diverse range of museums, galleries and community-based organizations. Young has trained educators to integrate the arts of Africa and the diaspora in classroom curricula within the United States and at educational and cultural institutions abroad, including Japan, Germany, France, Kenya and Ghana. She holds a PhD from Columbia University. Young’s research is concerned with the ways that women of African descent articulate power and meaning through the visual and verbal arts. She has been a visiting scholar at the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University where she developed and taught seminars incorporating film, literature, drama and the visual arts in courses entitled ‘Visualizing African American Culture’, ‘Women and the Visual Arts in Africa’ and the ‘Diaspora and Africanisms in American Culture’. Prior to receiving her doctorate she was a museum educator and associate at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, where she worked exhibitions and programs featuring modern artists including Jacob Lawrence, Constantin Brancusi, Georgia O’Keefe, Alfred Stieglitz and Man Ray. Young is Director of the Young Robertson Gallery in New York City. The gallery specializes in fine arts from Africa and the African Diaspora, with a focus on traditional African fine art, textiles and photography.


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