Course Description

Paul Gilroy’s pioneering concept of the Black Atlantic conveys how three main regions (Africa, Europe, The Americas) were implicated in the construction of various cultural forms. Borrowing from Gilroy’s idea, this course will allow students to consider how the term Diaspora is used to describe the dissemination of peoples of African descent that started with the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and how such movements have impacted their art making in various geographical, cultural, and socio-political paradigms. The African Diaspora has created religions, prompted the formation of political movements, and has coined ideologies: from Ethiopianism, the Harlem Renaissance, Negritude, to the Black Arts Movement, and the post-black era.  The course will interrogate these important markers in history and examine their roles in the art of the African Diaspora.  Although the course is designed around the concept of the Black Atlantic, we will also consider traditional art forms of Sub-Saharan Africa and investigate the ways in which it influenced artists in Europe and the Americas.