CALL FOR PAPERS: Thirty Years of Meaning and Influence – “Flash of the Spirit: African & Afro-American Art & Philosophy”

Thirty Years of Meaning and Influence –
“Flash of the Spirit:
African & Afro-American Art & Philosophy”

by Robert Farris Thompson
Published in 1983

Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, LA
December 11-12, 2014

Organized by

Prospect New Orleans The Ogden Museum of Southern Art

C. Daniel Dawson, Conference Director

Generously funded by The Helis Foundation with additional funding from the Henry Luce Foundation

CALL FOR PAPERS

In coordination with the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Prospect New Orleans is organizing a conference celebrating the 30th anniversary of the publishing of Flash of the Spirit: African & Afro-American Art & Philosophy by Robert Farris Thompson, the celebrated art historian. Originally published in 1983, Flash of the Spirit has enjoyed a popularity and influence far beyond the academic arena, making it one of the most important texts in the African-Atlantic world, as well as art historical scholarship. The conference will take place December 11 - 12, 2014 at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, Louisiana. It will accompany Basquiat and the Bayou, an exhibit of paintings at the museum by Jean-Michel Basquiat, who was greatly influenced by the Thompson text.

The conference is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

The conference will consist of four scholarly panels over two days, along with a keynote presentation by the author Robert Farris Thompson on Friday night, December 12th. C. Daniel Dawson, the Conference Director, is the Master of Ceremonies. Each panel session will have a chairperson and will address the different ways in which Flash of the Spirit has made an important contribution in the understanding of contemporary cultural realities grounded in African and African-American art and philosophy. Each panel will focus on a specific topic for discussion. The four chairpersons and session topics are:

  • Dr. Kellie Jones, Columbia University - the influence of Flash of the Spirit in the world of academia, scholarship and art history;
  • Dr. Barbaro Martinez-Ruiz, University of Cape Town - the international impact of Flash… with a focus on the geographic areas discussed in the text, e.g., Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, Mali, Nigeria, etc;
  • Dr. Grey Gundaker, College of William and Mary - the influence of Flash… in reconstructing how we define art or redefine objects in a cultural context;  
  • Dr. Marta Moreno Vega, New York University & Caribbean Cultural Center  -the extra-academic influence of Flash… in the areas of religion, dance, music, theater and the visual arts.  

If you are interested in participating in this conference, please submit an abstract, of no more than 500 words, describing your presentation. The abstract theme must adhere to one or more of the four session topics outlined above.

Abstracts are to be submitted by e-mail to Sarah Story, Symposium Coordinator: conference@ogdenmuseum.org.

The submission deadline is August 30, 2014.

Presenters will be selected by the panel chairs and notified of their participation by September 30, 2014.