Untitled (Edisto Island), 2016 by Zalika Azim

The Institute of African American Affairs (IAAA) Center for Black Visual Culture (CBVC) at New York University are both interdisciplinary spaces for students, faculty, post-doc fellows, artists, scholars and the general public. Founded in 1969, IAAA’s mission continues to research, document, and celebrate the cultural and intellectual production of Africa and its diaspora in the Atlantic world and beyond with a commitment to the study of Blacks in modernity through concentrations in Pan-Africanism and Black Urban Studies. The CBVC, expanding on that mission, is a space for scholarly and artistic inquiry (framing and reframing) into the understanding and exploration of images focusing on Black people globally with critical evaluation of images in multiple realms of culture, including how various archives and the development of visual technologies affect the construction of representations.

The goals of IAAA and CBVC converge to promote and encourage collaborative research projects, experimental learning and open spaces to the larger community for broad and thematic discussions through various, diverse and dynamic public programming and initiatives by way of conferences, lectures, workshops, screenings, exhibitions, readings, performances, visiting scholars, artist residencies and publications.

Activism: The Artist/Scholar Mapping Stories & Social Practice

Citizenship and rights are topics and perhaps “conditions” that countries have always had to be engaged and struggled with over time. Who is allowed to enter and become a citizen with rights and which rights are given to certain citizens are now more than ever at the forefront on the global stage. To accept one’s past — one’s history is not the same thing as drowning in it; it is learning how to use it. An invented past can never be used; it cracks and crumbles under the pressures of life like clay in a season of drought.
James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time  How do we examine and interpret seminal archives, those reliable and unreliable, through the lenses of citizenship and rights to generate new discourse and action while providing a platform for critical engagement? What tools and strategies are implemented for mapping these stories for/by the collective and the personal?  Join us as we re-examine these ideas and questions, as we think about the pursuit of freedom, education, and joy through creative collaborations with scholars, writers, filmmakers, artists, photographers, activists and the general public.

Book Talk
Emmett Till: Meaning and Memory
Wednesday, February 6, 2019 / 6:00 – 8:00 pm
A lecture by Elliott J. Gorn,  Department of History, Loyola University Chicago

Speak Up (Ouvrir la voix) 2017, 122 min.
Tuesday, February 26, 2019 / 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Women of African descent in France and Belgium converse about what it means to be a woman today and belong to the Afro community in the documentary film. After the screening director Amandine Gay will be in conversation with art historian Sandrine Colard and poet/scholar Sylvie Kandé.

Counterbalance, 2015 by
Hank Willis Thomas (Jack Shainman Gallery)

Sports and the Black Male Body
Thursday, February 28, 2019 / 6:00 – 8:00 pm
With Doug Glanville (author, former American Major League Baseball player, and former ESPN baseball analyst); Melvina Lathan (former Chairperson New York State Athletic Commission and Professional Boxing Judge, Director of Youth Services Yonkers Police Athletic League); Pellom McDaniels III, Ph.D. (curator of African American collections in the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory University) and Kevin Merida (Senior Vice President at ESPN and editor in chief of The Undefeated, a digital platform that mines the intersections of race, sports and culture). Moderated by Millery Polyné (Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs & Associate Professor, NYU Gallatin).

Gazes, Migrations & Memories: Women on Performance and Writing
Wednesday, March 13, 2019 / 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Join writer/photographer Maaza Mengiste (author of forthcoming The Shadow King), vocalist/ songwriter Somi, and human rights advocate Clemantine Wamariya (author of The Girl Who Smiled Beads) as they discuss their work, activism, the archives, ways of telling, sharing stories and why. Moderated by Deborah Willis, photographer of In Pursuit of Beauty: Imaging Closets in Newark and Beyond.

One-Day Symposium: Visual/Scholarly/Activist Responses to Spatial Precarity
Thursday, March 14, 2019 / 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center
53 Washington Square South
(bet. Sullivan and Thompson Streets)

The Latinization of U.S. cities has been accompanied by the rapid displacement of Latinx from their historically stronghold communities with art and culture having been central to these processes. This one-day symposium will gather participating artists from PELEA: Visual Responses to Spatial Precarity exhibit along with scholars who have been theorizing and acting through these processes in their work and practice. The event and exhibit are organized by The Latinx Project.
For more information please email: LatinxProject@nyu.edu

21st Century/New African and African Diaspora Writings and Arts: Caribbean
Monday, March 25, 2019 / 6:00 – 8:00 pm
With artist Renee CoxVanessa 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, New York University).

Book Talk
Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry by Imani Perry (Beacon Press, 2018)

Monday, April 1, 2019 / 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Reading by Imani Perry, the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, followed by book signing and a short discussion with Professor Michael D. Dinwiddie, Gallatin School of Individualized Study, NYU.

Billie Holiday: An Evening with Lady Day in Photos and Song
Friday, April 5, 2019 / 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Photographer and photo archivist Grayson Dantzic examines his father’s work in the photographic chronicle book Jerry Dantzic: Billie Holiday at Sugar Hill. Jazz recording artist, composer and activist Candice Hoyes, accompanied by pianist Jonathan Thomas, discusses the life and legacy of the amazing and iconic Lady Day.

The Black Experience In French Cinema: A Film Retrospective and Conference
Thursday – Saturday, April 11-13, 2019
A three-day film festival will explore changing representations of blackness in French cinema through a cross-disciplinary approach.

Gordon Parks “Duke Ellington
Listening to Playback, Los Angeles, 1960”

Gordon Parks Dialogues with the Gordon Parks Foundation Fellows
Saturday, April 13, 2019  / 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
The Gordon Parks Dialogues presents panels of past Gordon Parks Foundation Scholarship Recipients addressing how their artists’ creative work defines today’s society and how they can combat social injustice and perpetuate political and social change.

Black Renaissance Noire Winter/Spring 2019 Launch
Friday, April 19, 2019 / 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noire, publishes essays, poetry, fiction, photography, art, and reviews that address the full range of contemporary BLACK concerns. It invites BLACK genius to apply itself to the realities of the twenty-first century with uncompromised thought, generous and readable analysis, and commentary. Join us for a reception and readings from contributors of the winter/spring issue.

The Literary Mews/PEN World Voices Festival at NYU
Friday, May 10, 2019  / 6:00 pm and 7:30 pm
The 2019 PEN World Voices Festival OPEN SECRETS looks at how we navigate the line between the public and the private—how much we reveal and how much we keep to ourselves. The panel Reinvent and Rediscover: A View From Elsewhere will include Brian Keith Jackson, a bestselling and prize-winning author, essayist and arts and culture writer. The panel Terrible Truths: Confronting History and Memory will include Tanisha C. Ford, a writer, cultural critic, and Associate Professor of Africana Studies and History at the University of Delaware.

The Institute of African American Affairs & Center for Black Visual Culture would like to thank NYU’s Office of the Provost; Tisch School of the Arts Office of the Dean; Office of Global Inclusion, Diversity and Strategic Innovation; Tisch Department of Photography & Imaging; Institute of French Studies; and La Maison Française of NYU.