"Racing the Family Narrative: Black German Family Photography and the Stories Pictures (Won't) Tell…" Tina Campt
Professor, Barnard College/Columbia University
Date: Thursday, March 28, 2013
Location: Althouse 106
Time: 5:00 p.m.
The German and Africana Studies Departments are hosting Professor of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Director of the Africana Studies Program Tina Campt of Barnard College/Columbia University next Thursday. Professor Campt will be giving a lecture titled "Racing the Family Narrative: Black German Family Photography and the Stories Pictures (Won't) Tell…" on Thursday, March 28 at 5 pm in Althouse 106. Professor Campt's visit is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Office of Diversity Initiatives, the Women's Center, American Studies, Women and Gender Studies, Joyce Bylander, Special Assistant to the President for Institutional and Diversity Initiatives, and the Max Kade Foundation.
"Racing the Family Narrative: Black German Family Photography and the Stories Pictures (Won't) Tell…" What historical 'truths' can we read in the visual archive of the African Diaspora in Germany? What narratives of nation, place and belonging do family photographs tell? What narratives do they challenge, dislodge or retell? This presentation uses family photography of Black Germans in the early twentieth century to tell an alternate narrative of race, nation and diaspora for the Black German community. In the process, it asks what we can learn by engaging the multiple truths of still images, and images of dwelling in diaspora.
Dr. Tina Campt is Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Director of the Africana Studies Program at Barnard College. Campt's research theorizes gendered, racial and diasporic formation in black communities in Germany, and Europe more broadly. She is the author of Other Germans: Black Germans and the Politics of Race, Gender and Memory in the Third Reich (2004), an oral history of Black Germans in the Nazi period that examines the mutual constitution of racial and gendered formation from the Weimar Republic to the postwar period. She has edited special issues of Feminist Review, Callaloo and small axe, and together with Paul Gilroy, co-edited the volume, Der Black Atlantik (2004). Her second book monograph explores early twentieth century family photography of Black European communities. Image Matters: Archive, Photography and the African Diaspora in Europe (2012) examines the status of photographs in the process of historical interpretation. Engaging the burgeoning field of scholarship on affect, Image Matters uses affect to attend to how certain photographs move people, what the practice of making photos did for black sitters as individuals and family members, and what it allowed them to do and say about themselves. The book demonstrates how and why certain photographs ‘matter’, why they ‘register’ at multiple levels, as well as what those registers tell us about the cultural work of vernacular photography for diasporic communities. Professor Campt is the recipient of research grants and fellowships from the Leverhulme Trust, the American Association of University Women, The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Social Science Research Council, and the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities.