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Millennial Capitalism: Global Perspectives – Spring 2019

Course Number: CULANTH 530S

Course Attributes: CCI, CZ, R, SS

Course Description:

This course historicizes the conditions under which a specific form of capitalism emerges; one primarily focused on financialization and debt. Students begin by looking to the inception of market capitalism in the Atlantic world accounting for its cultural logics: How race and racism operate in tandem with capital; the significance of the slave trade and the institution of slavery; the fact of empires and peripheries; and the centrality of gender to private property relations. The course concludes with an inquiry into those new forms of work and corollary forms of alienation that define the digital age.

Anne-Maria MakhuluFaculty Biography:

Anne-Maria Makhulu is an Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology and African and African American Studies and Core Faculty in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Duke University. Her research interests cover: Africa and more specifically South Africa, cities, space, globalization, political economy, neoliberalism, the anthropology of finance and corporations, as well as questions of aesthetics, including the literature of South Africa. Makhulu is co-editor of Hard Work, Hard Times: Global Volatility and African Subjectivities (2010) and the author of Making Freedom: Apartheid, Squatter Politics, and the Struggle for Home (2015). She is a contributor to Producing African Futures: Ritual and Reproduction in a Neoliberal Age (2004), New Ethnographies of Neoliberalism(2010), author of articles in Anthropological Quarterly and PMLA, special issue guest editor for South Atlantic Quarterly (115(1)) and special theme section guest editor for Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East (36(2)). A new project, South Africa After the Rainbow (in preparation), examines the relationship between race and mobility in postapartheid South Africa.

CULANTH_530_Poster

 

Will ‘Hamilton’ change how actors of color are cast?

By Camille Jackson

Theater-goers trying to figure out the surprising success of the musical “Hamilton,” which casts actors of color in the role of the founding fathers, should start with one particular reason, say two leading observers of musical theater: its hip hop soundtrack.

“Broadway musicals are supposed to produce hits. When rock took over it became popular music. When hip hop and rap took over, it became popular but [before Hamilton] there were no hip-hop musicals,” said William Henry Curry, the resident conductor for the NC Symphony.

Read more: https://today.duke.edu/2016/09/will-hamilton-change-how-actors-color-are-cast

Supported by the Power – Lonnie Holley

Exhibiting in the John Hope Franklin Gallery from December 15, 2015 – February 26, 2016.

 

Lonnie Holley is the artist working today who can best eliminate the barrier between taught and untaught art. This collapse of dividers, not unlike racial ones, represents a declassification or deconstruction of a deeply troubling history in order to create a more communitarian future.

Holley is a peerless artist who we best label contemporary, not folk. His sense of contemporary is more closely aligned with current social and political events than most contemporary artists who seem to have only evolved their use of materials.

In Lonnie Holley: Supported by the Power, sculptures emerge from Alabama yards and Atlanta corners. Holley’s themes in his art and music run concurrent to contemporary actualities: post-Jim Crow race pathologies or a recycling of consumer goods towards a more sustainable future.   His story is a southern tale. The history of the South conjures the most American of stories: a story of oppression from tilled fields and small yards to urban corners of southern and northern cities.

Holley, when compared to an exemplary artist like Robert Rauschenberg, creates works which are more zen-like, less neurotic and contradictory and more future-predictive in terms of 1/ connecting to tradition 2/ a recycling of materials to make a more sustainable art 3/ creating works with fewer conservation problems as they are already time-rendered 4/ its connection to music 5/ creating a language of liberation 6/ the connection to nature and local specificities.

On the main wall we see four totemic, cruciform-like works which convey the African-American exigency of forced labor, suffering and the genesis of religious sanctuary.   On the end wall, Never to be Opened Again, made by Holley in post-Katrina New Orleans, depicts a local history in ruins, a result of the baneful mix of a corrupted nature and politics.   In the two remaining works, Supported by the Power and The Catholic Ladies’ Picture, Holley creates a personal history (auto-portraiture as empowerment) and a conceptual nod to art history (art objects as carriers of power). Supported by the Power, consisting solely of 7 sculptures, we can still grasp the sum power of Lonnie Holley’s work.

Special thanks are due to: the artist, Matt and William Arnett, Bradford Cox, Rodney and Nancy Gould, MA, Joan and Michael Salke, MA, Jason Doty, Giovanni Zanalda and Lauren Feilich.

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