School of Art, Media, and Technology

Conference: Black Studies in Art and Design Education

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The first international conference of its kind, “Black Studies in Art and Design Education: Past Gains, Present Resistance, Future Challenges, “ will
take place at Parsons The New School for Design on March 26-27, 2011. The conference organizers are professors Coco Fusco (Fine Arts) and Yvonne Watson (Fashion). Among the featured speakers are artists Leslie Hewitt, Pepon Osorio and Damon Rich; industrial designers Stephen Burks and Noel Mayo; and scholars Mabel Wilson, Craig Wilkins, Leslie King-Hammond, Jennifer Gonzalez, and Susan Cahan. This conference is sponsored by The New School’s Academic Events Fund, Parsons Cross-School Funds and The New School Student Senate.

Black artists and designers are at the cutting edge of contemporary culture but Black communities and their cultural histories continue to be a marginal presence in art and design schools. This conference will be a forum for reflection on the troubling gap that persists between the significance of Black creativity in global culture and its presence in art and design education. Speakers will consider possible causes for this gap: could it be due to the ways that art and design are taught? Does it have to do with which histories are given more or less attention? Does the presence or absence of mentors play any role? How do issues of cultural difference find their way into the language of studio critique? How does the social experience of art and design school affect Black students and professors?

For more information please contact Coco Fusco or Yvonne Watson, and visit the conference web page at:

March 26-27
Kellen Auditorium
Lobby 66 5th Avenue

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