Thursday, September 13, 2018

Committed to Memory:
The Art of the Slave Ship Icon
(Princeton University Press)
by Cheryl Finley

Cheryl Finley in conversation with Jennifer L. Morgan, Chair, Department of Social and Cultural Analysis-NYU 

Join Cornell University art historian Dr. Cheryl Finley for a book signing and discussion on how an eighteenth-century engraving of a slave ship became a cultural icon of black resistance, identity, and remembrance. Professor Finley traces how the slave ship icon became a powerful tool in the hands of British and American abolitionists, and how its radical  potential was rediscovered in the twentieth century by black artists, activists, writers, filmmakers, and curators.


Time: 6:00-8:00 pm
Location: Institute of African American Affairs & Center for Black Visual Culture - NYU
14A Washington Mews, 1st floor

Please RSVP: nyuiaaa-cbvc-events@nyu.edu or (212) 998-IAAA(4222)
Please make sure to state the event name and date in your email.


Cheryl Finley is Associate Professor of Art History at Cornell University. She holds a Ph.D. in African American Studies and History of Art from Yale University.
 An art historian, curator and contemporary art critic, Dr. Finley has contributed essays and reviews to ApertureNka: Journal of Contemporary African ArtAmerican Quarterly and Art Forum. Her prolific critical attention to photography has produced the coauthored publications Teenie Harris, Photographer: An American StoryHarlem: A Century in Images; and Diaspora, Memory, Place: David Hammons, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Pamela Z.Committed to Memory: the Art of the Slave Ship Icon and My Soul Has Grown Deep: Black Art from the American South are two of her recently published works. A specialist in the art market, Dr. Finley’s current project is Black Market: Inside the Art World, about the work of black artists in the global art economy, focusing on the relationship among museums, curators, biennials and tourism.

Funded by a two-year American Council of Learned Societies collaborative faculty grant, Dr. Finley is completing a project on the current migration crisis in the Mediterranean and at the US/Mexico Border, Visualizing Travel, Gendering Diaspora, with professors Leigh Raiford and Heike Raphael- Hernandez. Dr. Finley’s research has been supported by the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, Harvard University; the Ford Foundation; the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art; and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Jennifer 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 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004) and the co-editor of Connexions: Histories of Race and Sex in America (University of Illinois Press, 2016).  Her research examines the intersections of gender and race in in the Black Atlantic world.  Her most recent journal articles include “Partus Sequitur Ventrem: Law, Race, and Reproduction in Colonial Slavery,” in Small Axe; and “Accounting for ‘The Most Excruciating Torment’: Trans-Atlantic Passages” in History of the Present and “Archives and Histories of Racial Capitalism” in Social Text.  In addition to her archival work as an historian, Morgan has published a range of essays on race, gender, and the process of “doing history,” most notably “Experiencing Black Feminism” in Deborah Gray White’s edited volume Telling Histories: Black Women Historians in the Ivory Tower (2007). She is currently at work on a project that considers colonial numeracy, racism and the rise of the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in the seventeenth-century English Atlantic world tentatively entitled Reckoning with Women in Slavery.


Co-sponsored by NYU Africa House
NYU Africa House is an interdisciplinary institute devoted to the study of contemporary Africa, focusing on economic, political, and social issues on the continent and programs in the Arts. Part of Africa House ’s core mission is to advance the understanding of the links between Africa and the rest of the world,   through the social, historical, economic and other lenses. Related to this, we also have relationships with African immigrant communities in New York City. NYU has a large number of professors and students doing research in the areas of economic development, economic growth and macroeconomics, microfinance, analysis of the effectiveness of foreign aid, politics and political economy, law and legal institutions. Africa House regularly convenes high-level talks and seminars and has in the past featured African heads of state. We also host policy luncheons and research discussion presentations on focused topics. Our programs take place in New York City and in various capitals in Africa.