Huey Copeland

HUEY COPELAND (BAI Brown Bag Lunch Series)


“Relative Fictions”

In this lecture, which bridges his two current book manuscripts, art historian Huey Copeland explores the significance of fictional ties and modes of affiliation for the production of black gendered identities and artistic practices in the transatlantic world from the late 18th-century to the present.

Friday, April 14th, 2017, 12 pm
Kresge 1515

Lunch provided
RSVP recommended, to RSVP email




Huey Copeland is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in The Graduate School and Associate Professor of Art History with affiliations in the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, the Department of African American Studies, and the Department of Art Theory & Practice. His writing—which has been translated into French, German, and Spanish—focuses on modern and contemporary art with an emphasis on articulations of blackness in the Western visual field. A Contributing Editor of Artforum, Copeland has also published in Art Journal, Callaloo, Camera Obscura, Nka, Parkett, Qui Parle, Representations, and Small Axe as well as in numerous international exhibition catalogues and edited volumes, such as the award-winning Modern Women: Women Artists at the Museum of Modern Art, edited by Cornelia Butler and Alexandra Schwartz.

Notable among Copeland’s publications is Bound to Appear: Art, Slavery, and the Site of Blackness in Multicultural America, a book funded by a Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program Grant and published by the University of Chicago Press. Focused on the work of Renée Green, Glenn Ligon, Lorna Simpson, and Fred Wilson, this project considers how slavery shaped American art in the last decades of the twentieth century in order to argue for a reorientation of modern and contemporary art history where the subject of race is concerned. At present, Copeland is at work on a new book, In the Shadow of the Negress: A Brief History of Modern Artistic Practice, which explores the constitutive role played by fictions of black womanhood in Western art from the late-eighteenth century to the present. He has also begun refining a companion volume—tentatively entitled Touched by the Mother: Contemporary Artists, Black Masculinities, and the Ends of the American Century—that brings together many of his new and previously published critical essays.