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Black Bodies, White Gold: Art, Cotton, and Commerce in the Atlantic

Thu, Jan 27/22 – 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Click here (Zoom link) to register.

photo of a book with black cover

Author: Anna Arabindan-Kesson (Department of African American Studies/Department of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University)

This talk focuses on Anna Arabindan-Kesson’s new book, Black Bodies, White Gold. It examines the visual relationship between the cotton trade and the representation of the Black body in American culture, using historical case studies and contemporary art. Juxtaposing contemporary interventions with historical moments, it examines how cotton materially influenced the way Black bodies were seen, and how Black Americans saw themselves, as both enslaved and free Americans. Tracing this relationship deepens our understanding of the intersections of vision, value and subjectivity in the production of racial identity in nineteenth-century America, and also today. 

Photo of Anna Arabindan-Kesson

Professor Anna Arabindan-Kesson is an assistant professor of African American and Black Diasporic art with a joint appointment in the Department of Art and Archaeology and the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University. Born in Sri Lanka, she completed undergraduate degrees in New Zealand and Australia, and worked as a Registered Nurse in the UK before completing her PhD in African American Studies and Art History at Yale University.