Presentation by Vincent Brown (History and African American Studies, Harvard University) and Cheryl Finley (Director of the Atlanta University Center Art History + Curatorial Studies Collective, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Art History, Spelman College) with Christopher Freeburg (English) responding.
About the Speakers
Vincent Brown is Charles Warren Professor of American History and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University, and the co-founder of Timestamp Media. His research, writing, teaching, and other creative endeavors are focused on the political dimensions of cultural practice in the African Diaspora, with a particular emphasis on the early modern Atlantic world.
Brown is the author of numerous articles and reviews in scholarly journals, he is Principal Investigator and Curator for the animated thematic map Slave Revolt in Jamaica, 1760-1761: A Cartographic Narrative (2013), he was Producer and Director of Research for the award-wining television documentary Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness (2009), broadcast nationally on season 11 of the PBS series Independent Lens, and he is the executive producer and host for The Bigger Picture, co-produced with WNET for PBS Digital.
Professor Brown’s first book, The Reaper’s Garden: Death and Power in the World of Atlantic Slavery (2008), was co-winner of the 2009 Merle Curti Award and received the 2009 James A. Rawley Prize and the 2008-09 Louis Gottschalk Prize. His most recent book, Tacky’s Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War (2020), was awarded eight prizes—the Anisfield-Wolf Award, the Frederick Douglass Book Prize, the Harriet Tubman Prize, the James A. Rawley Prize, the P. Sterling Stuckey Prize, the Elsa Goveia Prize, the Oscar Kenshur Prize, and the Phillis Wheatley Book Award for Non-Fiction Research—and was a finalist for five others, including the international Cundill History Prize.
Cheryl Finley is director of the Atlanta University Center Art History + Curatorial Studies Collective and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Art History at Spelman College. A visionary leader committed to engaging strategic partners to transform the art and culture industry, she heads an innovative undergraduate program at the world’s largest historically Black college and university consortium in preparing the next generation of African American museum and visual arts professionals. She is a curator, contemporary art critic, and award-winning author noted for Committed to Memory: The Art of the Slave Ship Icon (2018), the first in-depth study of the most famous image associated with the memory of slavery—a schematic engraving of a packed slave ship hold—and the art, architecture, poetry, and film it has inspired since its creation in Britain in 1788. Her current research projects, Black Art Futures and Mapping Art History at HBCUs, harness the power of art history and the promise of technology to revolutionize the art industry.
Christopher Freeburg is the John A. and Grace W. Nicholson Professor in the Department of English at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Freeburg joined the Department of English as Assistant Professor in 2006 after earning a PhD at the University of Chicago. In 2020, Freeburg was named a University Scholar. Freeburg’s research interests include American and African American literature, the idea of Black culture, the American Novel after 1850, slavery in the Atlantic world, and media aesthetics. He is the author of numerous publications including Counterlife: Slavery after Resistance and Social Death (Duke University Press, 2021), Black Aesthetics and the Interior Life (University of Virginia Press, 2017), and Melville and the Idea of Blackness: Race and Imperialism in Nineteenth Century America (Cambridge University Press, 2012).