Undergraduate Fine Arts and Design

Black/Queer/Risk and the Museum Reading Group

Thursday, September 23, 2021 5:00pm
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Open to members of the Penn community. Email juliafox@upenn.edu for Zoom link.

In this reading group, through deep engagement and discussion, we will become more rigorous and careful viewers of the works of contemporary black queer visual artists. Special attention will be given to how these artists employ sexual risk and risk-taking in their work and how risk acts as a violent and worldmaking concept in black queer life. In a moment wherein black art takes center stage in the museum, this group will also be a space to consider how black queer artists and activ- ists take risks that increasingly become the impetus for both marginalization and potential reward. Readings will be drawn from a transdisciplinary group of writers, artists, and scholars. Invited guests will join us each session to provide their expertise on the subjects covered.

The reading group will meet 3-4 times throughout the semester, starting Thursday, September 23 at 5pm via Zoom. Group will discuss meeting time and location for subsequent sessions.

Interested students, staff and faculty should rsvp by September 20th to Julia Fox, Administrative Assistant, Undergraduate Fine Arts and Design, at juliafox@upenn.edu

Jamal Batts, PhD (Curator-in-Residence, University of Pennsylvania Department of Fine Arts) is a curator, writer, and scholar. His dissertation, Immoral Panics: Black Queer Aesthetics and the Construction of Risk, reflects on the relation between blackness, queerness, contemporary art, and the intricacies of sexual risk and risk-taking. He is a 2020 Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Scholar-in-Residence, a Center for Curatorial Leadership Mellon Seminar Member, and a 2020 Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellow. With the curatorial collective The Black Aesthetic, he organized four seasons of black experimental film screenings and produced three edited collections of critical essays, poetry, and visual art. His writing appears in numerous publications. He is currently a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow.