Dates: Friday, November 11th and Saturday, November 12th, 2022
Location: All programming will be in-person on the Charles River Campus of Boston University.

Boston University’s Department of the History of Art & Architecture is pleased to present African American Art History: Present Coordinates, a symposium of research conducted by emerging scholars in the field of African American art history. This program is committed to advancing the connection and collaboration between diverse members of the Boston University community and emerging historians of African American visual art, material culture, and architecture.

ASL interpretation was available for all sessions. Boston University strives to be accessible, inclusive and diverse in our facilities, programming, and academic offerings. Your experience in this event is important to us.  BU History of Art & Architecture Statement of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Schedule of Presentations

Friday, November 11, 2022

Session 1  – 2:00 pm
Photonics Center, 8 St Mary’s Street, Room: PHO 211

Maíra Vieira de Paula – 2:00 pm
PhD Student, Visual Arts, University of São Paulo, Brazil
“‘The Nameless and the Forgotten’: Rosana Paulino’s Assentamento Installation and the Subversive Appropriation of the Photographic Archive of Brazilian Slavery”

Melissa Benbow – 3:15 pm
PhD Student, English, University of Delaware
“Creative Collaboration: Edmonia Lewis’ Communities in Post-Bellum, Pre-Harlem America”


Featured Presentation –  5:30 pm
College of Arts and Sciences, 725 Commonwealth Avenue, Room: CAS 522

Welcoming Remarks given by Dr. Patricia Hills, Professor Emerita, American & African American Art, Boston University, and pioneering scholar of Jacob Lawrence and Eastman Johnson.

Melanee C. Harvey, PhD – 5:30 pm
Associate Professor of Art History, Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts, Howard University
“Call & Response: Contemporary Reflections on James A. Porter’s “Four Problems in the History of Negro Art” (1942)”


Saturday, November 12, 2022

Session 2 – 9:00 am
College of Arts and Sciences, 725 Commonwealth Avenue, Room: CAS B12

Charlette Caldwell – 9:00 am
PhD Candidate, Architecture, Columbia University
“The Crucible of the Freedom Church: Building Culture and the African Methodist Episcopal Church”

Bentley Brown – 10:00 am
PhD Fellow, Institute of Fine Art, New York University
“It was Like Shan-gri-la: Frederick J. Brown, 120 Wooster Street, and Black creatives of New York’s ‘Downtown Scene’, 1970-1989”

Catherine Rucker – 11:15 am
PhD Candidate, History of Art, Archaeology, and Visual Studies, Cornell University
“Refractive Blackness: Visuality in Black Conceptual Art of the Twentieth Century”

More details about each presenter and their presentations:

This Emerging Scholars Program was organized by Boston University Department of History of Art & Architecture and sponsored in part by Boston University Diversity & Inclusion.

The organizing committee was led by Shannon Bewley, PhD Candidate, Department of History of Art & Architecture, and advised by William D. Moore, Associate Professor American Material Culture; Kim Sichel, Professor of History of Photography & Modern Art.; John Ott, former Ray and Margaret Horowitz Visiting Professor in American Art; Alisa Prince, Postdoctoral Scholar at the BU CAS Society of Fellows; and Louis Chude-Sokei, Professor of English, Director of the African American Studies Program.