ASA 2003 will meet in Boston this upcoming December. The theme this year is: "Youthful Africa in the 21st Century." Panel submissions need to be post-marked by March 31st. The description for arts submissions follows, but please consider this a general statement. All panel ideas are welcome as we want to have as strong a showing for the arts as possible.
The Visual Culture of Youth in Africa and the Diaspora: Artists, Art Communities, and Changing Times
The theme of youth in relation to the arts suggests topics that address art forms made by and for young people, but “youth” might also be seen as a metaphoric principle for what is young, “new,” in our discipline. The field of African art is indeed a young one, and one filled with many young scholars, young artists, and young ideas. Ideas of youth span from creative objects of young people, to youth movements, and to the ideas of the “next” generation. Thus, the arts-based panels might address a wide range of issues and themes. Inquiries into the art forms made and performed by Africa’s youth, like toys and children’s masquerades, are encouraged. Participants might address the gender implications of such art forms. What is visually specific to the arts and education of girls, versus that of boys? In addition, scholars might consider the interplay between youth movements and visual culture, or the concerns and challenges that seem particular to young artists today. For instance, how has the AIDS epidemic affected the culture of art production today? Where and how are artists receiving their training in changing times? What does the visual culture of violence – the increasingly popular martial arts videos, in combination with the graphic media, and harsh realities of life in war-ravaged nations – mean for young artists of today, and tomorrow? Along a similar vein, how have artists turned to their craft to effect change for future generations? How do the arts address such complex and challenging issues as child abuse, substance abuse and other crimes and crises of youth? Other panels might include topics that trace cross-cultural interaction. How has what is “hip” in Africa influenced youth in the Americas, India, or Europe? How have the Africanisms of non-African nations been received, re-invented, or translated, when they cross back to African communities? Panels that take a reflexive approach, such as pedagogical or historiographic analyses of the “young” discipline of African art studies, are also welcomed. Such panels might address the problems facing young African art scholars today, such as the challenge of balancing a career with starting (or raising) a family.
Karen E. Milbourne
Assistant Professor, African Art History
University of Kentucky
207 Fine Arts Building
Lexington, KY 40506-0022 USA
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