Emancipating the Past: Kara Walker’s Tales of Slavery and Power



Exhibition Opening Reception

Friday, January 24,

JSMA members 5-6 p.m.
Public 6-8 p.m.


Curator’s Talk: Emancipating the Past: Kara Walker’s Tales of Slavery and Power

Wednesday, January 29, 5:30 p.m.

Curator Jessi DiTillio discusses the scope of Kara Walker’s career, delving deeper into the artist’s interest in Antebellum history, stereotypes, and the relevance of the nineteenth century for contemporary race relations.


Film Screening & Live Performance: Lotte Reiniger’s “The Adventures of Prince Achmed” with a live original score performed by Miles and Karina (1926, 65 minutes)

Wednesday, February 5, 7:00 p.m.

Lotte Reiniger, an early pioneer of animation, was a key influence on Kara Walker’s animation technique. When The Adventures of Prince Achmed premiered in Germany in 1926, it was hailed as the first full-length animated film. The silent film will be accompanied by a live original score, performed by the Seattle-based music duo Miles and Karina. This program is co-sponsored by Academic Affairs.


Tardis Ensemble Concert: The American South

Sunday, February 9, 2 p.m.

The Tardis Ensemble is a chamber music collective founded in 2011 with the purpose of engaging audiences through thematic programs that explore distinct time periods, countries, or genres. In a special music program designed to complement the themes of Emancipating the Past, the ensemble will perform a combination of historical and contemporary compositions drawn from or addressing the Antebellum period.  Immediately following the recital, UO musicology instructor Larry Wayte will facilitate a discussion of race, identity, and the experience of African-American composers in Western classical music, drawing on the writings of William Grant Still, Olly Wilson, and others.


8 Possible Beginnings: Slavery, Pornography, and Formal Origins

Wednesday, February 19, 5:30-7 p.m.

Location: 180 PLC

Arlene R. Keizer, Associate Professor of English, University of California at Irvine

Dr. Arlene R. Keizer, a distinguished scholar of English and African American Studies at the University of California in Irvine, will lecture on Walker’s use of the visual language of pornography in her video art. Three of Walker’s videos will be screened in conjunction with the lecture.

After attending Princeton and Stanford for her B.A. and M.A., Arlene R. Keizer received her doctorate from UC Berkeley in 1996, specializing in African American and Caribbean literature. Keizer is the author of Black Subjects: Identity Formation in the Contemporary Narrative of Slavery (Cornell University Press, 2004) and co-editor of New Black Feminist Criticism, 1985-2000 (University of Illinois Press, 2007). Her current book projects are Gone Astray in the Flesh: Kara Walker’s Art and the Black Postmodern and Passionate Witness: Becoming an African American Juror in the Age of Obama, for which she recently received a University of California Institute for Research in the Arts grant. This event is cosponsored by the Oregon Humanities Center's Endowment for Public Outreach in the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities as part of their 2013-14 program series Vulnerable and Academic Affairs.


Why Aren't There More Black People in Oregon?  A Hidden History

A Conversation with Walidah Imarisha

Sunday, February 23, 2 p.m.

Location: Eugene Public Library downtown branch

Have you ever wondered why the Black population in Oregon is so small? Oregon has a history not only of Black exclusion and discrimination, but also of a vibrant Black culture that helped sustain many communities throughout the state—a history that is not taught in schools.  Join Portland State University author and adjunct professor Walidah Imarisha for this free conversation, part of Oregon Humanities’ statewide Conversation Project. This program is made possible by the generous support of Oregon Humanities, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Oregon Cultural Trust.


Kara Walker: Shadow Caster

A Lecture by Robert Storr

Thursday March 6, 6 p.m.

Location: Lawrence Hall, room 177 

A critic, curator, painter, and academic, Robert Storr has been described as a “vital link between the museum world and academia” and is considered one of the most influential Americans in the art world. He served as Senior Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, from 1990 to 2002, became the first American selected as commissioner of the Venice Biennale in 2007, and is currently the Dean of Yale’s School of Art. Storr will explore Walker’s work through the symbolism of the shadow, drawing on historic and metaphoric connections. This lecture is co-sponsored by the Department of Art and made possible by the George and Matilda Fowler Endowment Fund and Academic Affairs.


A Conversation about Collecting with Jordan Schnitzer

Saturday, April 5, 2 p.m.

JSMA executive director Jill Hartz interviews collector Jordan Schnitzer about his collecting passion, history and lessons learned.