One of the most contentious and capacious concepts of the modern era, black aesthetics names both a tradition of visual art, music, and literature and a set of linkages, resonances, and breaks.
During the 1960s, black artists and intellectuals embraced the idea of a black aesthetic as an ideological alternative to Eurocentric notions of beauty and taste. Since then, black aesthetics has served more broadly as a site of convergence across the African diaspora, weaving a history of placelessness and belonging, support and constraint, holding and being held.
The works in this exhibition, ranging from the 1950s to the present, embody various ways the aesthetic realm has enabled re-imaginings of blackness. Rather than narrowly defining a genre or a mode of expression, these examples of black art speak to alternate ways of seeing, feeling, living, and being together in the world. Together, they meditate on the word “hold” as a metaphor for thinking about the diverse expressive forms that gather under the banner of black art. Ultimately, Hold questions what animates and brings together the expansive terrain of creativity we call black aesthetics.
– Nijah Cunningham, Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellow, Princeton Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts Lecturer, Department of African American Studies and Department of English
Funded by the Art Museum’s Andrew W. Mellon Fund for Faculty Innovation, Nijah Cunningham’s Fall 2017 undergraduate course “Black Aesthetics: Art, Literature, and Politics in the African Diaspora” situated objects from the Museum’s collections in conversation with literary works in order to rethink notions of identity and representation.
Undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and other nonfaculty researchers are encouraged to apply to present their research or creative work in the arts. Share with the campus community the findings from your research internship, your junior paper, senior thesis, dissertation, postdoctoral research or other work.
Why should you present?
● Practice communicating about your research or creative work to a general audience.
● Share your work and findings with people across the University.
● Attend professional development workshops on poster design and presentation skills.
Dates to remember:
December 1: Call for applications to present at Princeton Research Day
February 13: Application Workshop: Crafting your Project Summary (RSVP)
February 16: Priority application deadline
April 2: Presenters informed of presentation format
May 10: Princeton Research Day
Princeton Research Day is a collaborative initiative between the offices of the Dean of the College, the Dean of the Faculty, the Dean for Research and the Dean of the Graduate School.