May 23rd 2023

The Working Group on Slavery and Visual Culture is pleased to announce the launching of its second digital exhibit, Palimpsests: Visual Idioms of Enslavement in the Nineteenth Century and their Afterlives, soon to be available on the digital platform The Visual Afterlives of Slavery. This collaborative exhibit unearths various modes in which nineteenth-century visual idioms of enslavement endure in present-day constructions of Blackness as a site for policing, discipline, labor, desire, love, death, and/or pity, as well as the challenging responses offered by contemporary artists across the Americas to that legacy. The conceptual figure that organizes this exploration is the palimpsest—the idea of a primary inscription that both persists and is disfigured underneath the surface of a new one.


Paulina Alberto (Harvard University)

Nohora Arrieta (University of California, Los Angeles)

Danielle Bainbridge (Northwestern University)

Allyson Nadia Field (University of Chicago)

Brodwyn Fisher (University of Chicago)

Isabela Fraga (Stanford University)

María de Lourdes Ghidoli (University of Buenos Aires)

Mary Hicks (University of Chicago)

Alejandro de La Fuente (Harvard University)

Agnes Lugo-Ortiz (University of Chicago)

Kaneesha Parsard (University of Chicago)

Danielle Roper (University of Chicago)

Lilia Schwarcz (University of São Paulo)

Deborah Thomas (University of Pennsylvania)

Tamara Walker (Barnard College)

This exhibit is part of the Working Group on Slavery and Visual Culture project Visual Regimes of Enslavement and Their Afterlives, sponsored by the Neubauer Collegium.

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