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Mikelle Smith Omari-Tunkara Will Give Hohenberg Lecture Feb. 19 at the U of M University News
For release: February 11, 2010

For press information, contact Simone Wilson, 901-678-4164


Mikelle Smith Omari-Tunkara
Mikelle Smith Omari-Tunkara
Mikelle Smith Omari-Tunkara, holder of the Dorothy Kayser Hohenberg Chair of Excellence in Art History at the University of Memphis and professor of art history at the University of Arizona, will present the U of M’s annual Hohenberg Lecture on Friday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m. in the Fogelman Executive Center, Room 123. A reception will follow. Both events are free and open to the public.

 Omari-Tunkara is a leading scholar in the art of Africa and the African Diaspora, as well as African-American art and culture. She has lectured internationally and written extensively about permutations of ancestral Africa in the African Diaspora, gender, art, power, and contemporary African Art. Her most recent single-authored book is Manipulating the Sacred: Yoruba Art, Ritual, and Resistance in Brazilian Candomble.

Her lecture, “Global/Local: Contemporary Art in Africa and Its Diasporas” will focus on the new directions that conceptualizations of the African Diaspora are taking. “For African art historians and others, African Diaspora specifies the coerced distribution of African peoples to Asia, Europe, and the Americas,” Omari-Tunkara said. “However, many scholars and curators of African art continue to have preconceived definitions of contemporary art of Africa and its Diasporas and try to fit it into a single, hegemonic and monolithic mold with African-American USA as its center.”

Focusing on selected works by African artists living in and working out of Africa, Brazil, Cuba, and Europe, including the painting Gap Junction II by German-African artist Daniel Kojo Schrade, Omari-Tunkara will explore issues of identity and preconceived or implied identity.

For more information, call 901-678-4164.

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