Virtual Event: Tina M. Campt


A Black Gaze:
Artists Changing How We See

in conversation with SARAH LEWIS


September 1, 2021
7:00 PM ET


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Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes TINA M. CAMPT—the Owen F. Walker Professor of Humanities and Modern Culture and Media at Brown University—for a discussion of her latest book, A Black Gaze: Artists Changing How We See. She will be joined in conversation by SARAH LEWIS, an associate professor at Harvard University in the Department of History of Art and Architecture.

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About A Black Gaze

In A Black Gaze, Tina Campt examines Black contemporary artists who are shifting the very nature of our interactions with the visual through their creation and curation of a distinctively Black gaze. Their work—from Deana Lawson's disarmingly intimate portraits to Arthur Jafa's videos of the everyday beauty and grit of the Black experience, from Khalil Joseph's films and Dawoud Bey's photographs to the embodied and multimedia artistic practice of Okwui Okpakwasili, Simone Leigh, and Luke Willis Thompson—requires viewers to do more than simply look; it solicits visceral responses to the visualization of Black precarity.

Campt shows that this new way of seeing shifts viewers from the passive optics of looking at to the active struggle of looking with, through, and alongside the suffering—and joy—of Black life in the present. The artists whose work Campt explores challenge the fundamental disparity that defines the dominant viewing practice: the notion that Blackness is the elsewhere (or nowhere) of whiteness. These artists create images that flow, that resuscitate and revalue the historical and contemporary archive of Black life in radical ways. Writing with rigor and passion, Campt describes the creativity, ingenuity, cunning, and courage that is the modus operandi of a Black gaze.

Praise for A Black Gaze

“At once an incomparable critical inquiry, a rapt personal itinerary, and a cadenced poem, A Black Gaze by Tina Campt opens the mind, and eyes, to some of today's most transformative Black art and artists.” —Thelma Golden, The Studio Museum in Harlem

“Tina Campt is a champion for the contemporary Black imagination; a critical and self-reflective ally who helps us see the complexities of a Black interiority.” —Theaster Gates, Professor, Department of Visual Arts, University of Chicago

“A compelling meditation on the labor of witnessing, and writing about, the discomforting work of several artists who are transforming the contemporary visual cultural landscape.” —Krista Thompson, author of Shine: The Visual Economy of Light in African Diasporic Aesthetic Practice

Sarah Lewis
Sarah Lewis

Sarah Lewis

Sarah Lewis is the award-winning author of The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery and editor of “Vision & Justice,” recipient of the Infinity Award and the Freedom Scholar Award from the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and Carrie Mae Weems, winner of the Photography Network Book Prize. Her writing has been published in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Artforum, and the New York Review of Books. She is the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Humanities and Associate Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University.

Photo Credit: Stu Rosner

Tina M. Campt
Tina M. Campt

Tina M. Campt

Tina M. Campt, a Black feminist theorist of visual culture and contemporary art, is Owen F. Walker Professor of Humanities and Modern Culture and Media at Brown University and a Research Associate at the VIAD (Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre) at the University of Johannesburg. She is the author of Image Matters: Archive, Photography and the African Diaspora in Europe, Listening to Images, and other books.

Photo Credit: Dorothy Hong


Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Event Series: Virtual Event Series

Harvard Book Store’s award-winning event series continues online! Named "Best of Boston: 2020 Best Virtual Author Series" and "2021 Best Virtual Author Series" by Boston magazine.

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