CONVENED BY ANNA ARABINDAN-KESSON (princeton University) AND WAYNE MODEST (National Museum of Worldcultures and Wereldmuseum )

October 20–21, 2022

What yield is there for art history to engage with the Caribbean—a region that has remained peripheral to the field yet has always existed beyond its disciplinary boundaries? It is the polyvalent and polyphonic nature of the Caribbean, from the nation state to political economy and to artistic production itself that sustains its long history of intellectual production, and its challenge against Western conceptions of modernity. The development of Caribbean intellectual thought instructs us from the plantation to anti-slavery discourse and decolonization, from transculturation to creolization to the very concept of what constitutes the human. Why has art history—a discipline often defined by its relationship with shifting terrains of theoretical critique and analysis—been slow to engage with Caribbean writers and thinkers, to take seriously their multidisciplinary, multi-theoretical, and multi-lingual voices?

This conference asks what a deep engagement with the nuances of Caribbean intellectual thought could mean for art history. When informed by new, interpretive methodologies that actively build and sustain the promise and possibilities of freedom and alternative forms of value, what could this offer to the field of art history? How might the discipline at this critical juncture, sustained by the interpretive possibilities of relationality and the poetics of form, not simply respond to these voices, but change tactics? How can this help us to rethink the configurations and contradictions that form within art history? How can it compel a refashioning of the field?


Anna Arabindan-Kesson (co-convener), assistant professor of African American and Black diasporic art
Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

Tony Bogues, Asa Messer Professor of Humanities and Critical Theory; professor of Africana studies and history of art and architecture; director of the center for the study of slavery and justice
Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 

Petrina Dacres, curator and head of art history
Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, Kingston, Jamaica

Aldeide Delgado, founder and director
Women Photographers International Archive (WOPHA), Miami, Florida

Paul Goodwin, chair of contemporary art and urbanism
University of the Arts London, UK

Andil Gosine, professor, environmental arts & justice coordinator
York University, Toronto, Canada

Yanique Hume, lecturer in cultural studies
University of the West Indies at Cave Hill, Barbados

Deborah Jack, artist, associate professor of art
New Jersey City University, Jersey City

Erica Moiah James, assistant professor of African, Black & Caribbean Art
University of Miami, Florida

Patricia Kaersenhout, artist

Daniella Rose King, adjunct curator of Caribbean diasporic art
Hyundai Tate Research Centre: Transnational, London, UK

Charl Landvreugd, artist
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 

Tessa Marsartist, resident fellow (2020–2022)
Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Wayne Modest (co-convener), head of research center of material culture and director of content
National Museum of Worldcultures and Wereldmuseum, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

María Elena Ortiz, curator
Pérez Art Museum, Miami, Florida

Jerry Philogene, associate professor of American studies
Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Marcel Pinas, artist

Veerle Poupeye, independent curator
Kingston, Jamaica

Marina Reyes Franco, independent curator
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Adrienne Rooney, Ph.D. candidate in art history
Rice University, Houston, Texas

Kelly Sinnapah Mary, artist
Guadeloupe, French West Indies

Nicole Smythe-Johnsonindependent curator, Ph.D candidate in art history
The University of Texas at Austin

David Scott, Ruth and William Lubic Professor of Anthropology
Columbia University, New York City

For any questions, please contact [email protected].