Join History of Art for the next in the Research Seminar Series chaired by Glaire Anderson & Maryam Ohadi-Hamadani.
The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception in the Higgitt Gallery.
What part does personhood play in our scholarship? How might personal biography impact one’s research? Can personal biography contribute to, shape, or even determine one’s scholarship? African American historians of African American art have tended to emerge having first been artists, before going on to make a range of contributions as writers, archivists and/or curators.
David Driskell, Samella Lewis, James Porter, Richard J. Powell and others either began their careers as artists or maintained their respective practices alongside their foundational work as art historians, curators, and advocates of Black artists’ practices.
Why are these personal histories and career paths so relatively commonplace among pioneering generations of Black scholars? In this research seminar, Eddie Chambers, holder of the David Bruton, Jr. Centennial Professorship in Art History at the University of Texas at Austin, will discuss and explore these questions and some of the considerations that make African Diaspora art history a unique and particularly exciting branch of modern and contemporary art history.
Eddie Chambers is holder of the David Bruton, Jr. Centennial Professorship in Art History at the University of Texas at Austin. He has been professionally involved in the visual arts for four decades first as an artist, then as a writer of art criticism and art curator. More recently, since the early 2000s moving into academia, first as a Visiting Professor at Emory University, Atlanta, before going on, in 2010 to a position at the University of Texas at Austin.
I earned by PhD at Goldsmiths College University of London, working under Professor Sarat Maharaj. His external examiner was Professor Stuart Hall. My doctorate concerned itself with press and other responses to a new generation of Black British artists who emerged in the 1980s. I take as my broad areas of scholarship the art and art history of the African Diaspora. Chambers has written several books, namely Run Through the Jungle: Selected Writings by Eddie Chambers, London: inIVA – The institute of International Visual Arts, 1999; Things Done Change: The Cultural Politics of Recent Black Artists in Britain, Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi Editions, 2012; Black Artists in British Art: A History Since the 1950s, I. B. Tauris & Co Ltd, London and New York, Series: International Library of Visual Culture, 2014, reprinted, September 2015; Roots & Culture: Cultural Politics in the Making of Black Britain, I. B. Tauris & Co Ltd, London and New York, Series: International Library of Visual Culture, 2017; World is Africa: Writings on Diaspora Art, London and New York: Bloomsbury, 2021.
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