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Slavery and the Art of Race

When: Tuesday, January 30, 2024, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Where: Montagu Lecture Theatre (GC601), Graduate Centre, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London,E1 4NS, Mile End

Lecture delivered by IHSS Global Professorial Fellow, Professor Philippa Levine (University of Texas, Austin)

A lecture delivered by Professor Philippa Levine, as Global Professorial Fellow of the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, Queen Mary University of London.

This talk aims to underscore the long association between nakedness, race and slavery, as one element in a larger project which argues that nakedness was a key historical construct on which morality, aesthetics and scientific practice have drawn significantly. In the European empires, where the calibration of difference was paramount, nakedness acquired hierarchical significance and came to define savagery and subjecthood; even earlier it had signified absence and loss. As debates around Atlantic and other forms of slavery crystallised from the eighteenth century, a critical politics developed around depicting the slave body, whether visually or textually. This is an attempt to answer Marcus Woods’ provocative question: “what do we want to learn from the visual archive of slavery?”

To be followed by a drinks reception.

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