Materializing Blackness: The Politics and Production of African Diasporic Heritage
|Goode, Judith, 1939-
|"Materializing Blackness: The Politics and Production of African Diasporic Heritage” examines how intellectual and civic histories collide with the larger trends in the arts and culture sector and the local political economy to produce exhibitions at the African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP) and structure the work that museum exhibitions do to produce race visually for various audiences. Black museums are engaged in the social construction of race through their exhibitions and programs: selecting historical facts, objects and practices, and designating them as heritage for and to their audiences. In tracking this work, I am interested in 1) the assemblages of exhibits that are produced, as a function of 2) the internal logics of the producing institutions and 3) larger forces that structure the field as a whole. Looking at exhibits that engage Blackness, I examine how heritage institutions use art and artifacts to visually produce race, how their audiences consume it, and how the industry itself is produced as a viable consumptive market. Undergirded by the ways anthropologists of race and ethnicity have been explored and historicized race as a social construction I focus on an instantiation of the ways race is constructed in real time in the museum. This project engages deeply with inquiries about the social construction of race and Blackness, such as: how is Blackness rendered coherent by the art and artifacts in exhibitions? How are these visual displays of race a function of the museums that produce them and political economy of the field of arts and culture? Attending to the visual, intellectual, and political economic histories of networks of exhibiting institutions and based on ethnographic fieldwork in and on museums and other exhibiting institutions, this dissertation contextualizes and traces the production and circulation of the art and artifacts that produce the exhibitions and the museum itself as a way to provide a contemporary concrete answer. Overall “Materializing Blackness” makes the case for history and political economy as ghosts of production that have an outsized impact on what we see on exhibition walls, and are as important to the visual work as a result. Further it takes the Black museum as a site of anthropological engagement as a way to see the conjuncture of the aesthetic and the political, the historical and the material in one complicated node of institution building and racecraft in the neoliberal city.
|Temple University. Libraries
|Theses and Dissertations
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|African American Studies
|Materializing Blackness: The Politics and Production of African Diasporic Heritage
|White, Sydney Davant
|Scott, Monique (Monique R.)
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