Katherine Tsanoff Brown Lecture featuring Dr. Tina Campt

“Carrie Mae Weems and the Afterlives of Images: A Visual Correspondence”

This talk explores the unique forms of visual correspondence found in the work of one of the preeminent contemporary artists of her generation: Carrie Mae Weems. It explores her engagement with the Black body as a bridge of contact and commemoration between artist and audience, individual and collective, and the living and departed. Examining a selection of her recent works, the talk asks us to consider how Black artists activate images as a conduit of connection that force us to grapple with converging temporalities of Black subjection and Black possibility.
Tina Campt is Roger S. Berlind ’52 Professor of Humanities. She holds a joint appointment between the Department of Art and Archeology and the Lewis Center for the Arts. Campt is a black feminist theorist of visual culture and contemporary art and lead convener of the Practicing Refusal Collective and the Sojourner Project. She began her career as a historian of modern Germany, earning a Ph.D. in history from Cornell University. She is one of the founding scholars of Black European Studies, and her early work theorized gender, racial, and diasporic formation in black communities in Europe and southern Africa, with an emphasis on the role of vernacular photography in historical interpretation. Campt’s more recent scholarship bridges the divide between vernacular image-making in black diasporic communities and the interventions of black contemporary artists in reshaping how we see ourselves and our societies. Her teaching reflects her ongoing interest in exploring the multiple sensory registers of images and the importance of attending to their sonic and haptic registers.

Campt has published five books and received the 2020 Photography Catalogue of the Year Award from Paris Photo and Aperture Foundation for her co-edited collection, "Imagining Everyday Life: Engagements with Vernacular Photography" (with Marianne Hirsch, Gil Hochberg and Brian Wallis, Steidl, 2020). Campt has held faculty positions at Brown University, Barnard College-Columbia University, Duke University, University of California-Santa Cruz, and the Technical University of Berlin.