Flash of the Spirit

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Thirty Years of Meaning and Influence-
“Flash of the Spirit: African & Afro-American Art & Philosophy” by Robert Farris Thompson
Published in 1983

December 11-12, 2014
Organized by: Prospect New Orleans & Ogden Museum of Southern Art
Conference Director: C. Daniel Dawson
Columbia University – IRAAS; New York University – The Gallatin School
Generously funded by: The Helis Foundation & The Henry Luce Foundation

To register for the free conference - email your name and email address conference@ogdenmuseum.org


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. To register for the free conference - email your name and email address conference@ogdenmuseum.org

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.


Book your stay at the Hyatt Regency Hotel during the conference and receive 15% off!

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