Going There: Black Visual Satire

Faculty Bookwatch Publication

Richard J. Powell

Art, Art History and Visual Studies

Author profile

The Franklin Humanities Institute and Duke University Libraries hosted two virtual events on Richard J. Powell’s Going There: Black Visual Satire (Yale University Press, 2020) on March 22, 2021, and April 9, 2021.

In this groundbreaking study, Richard J. Powell investigates the visual forms of satire produced by black artists in 20th- and 21st-century America. Underscoring the historical use of visual satire as antiracist dissent and introspective critique, Powell argues that it has a distinctly African American lineage. Taking on some of the most controversial works of the past century—in all their complexity, humor, and provocation—Powell raises important questions about the social power of art.

Session One: Going There: Black Visual Satire
Mon, Mar. 22, 2021
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. EDT

The first event was a discussion of Going There: Black Visual Satire (Yale University Press, 2020) by Richard J. Powell. In this expansive study, Powell presents the rich and varied history of African American visual satire in the 20th and 21st centuries, giving the work its due in all its intelligence, daring, and critical power and raising important questions about the social power of art.

• Richard J. Powell, John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art & Art History, Duke University
• Huey Copeland, BFC Presidential Associate Professor, History of Art, University of Pennsylvania

• Meta DuEwa Jones, Associate Professor, English and Comparative Literature, UNC Chapel Hill
• Beverly McIver, Professor of the Practice in Visual Arts, Duke University
• Marcus Wood, Professor of English and Diaspora Studies, University of Sussex

Bookwatch flyer







Session Two: On Visual Satirist Ollie Harrington
Fri, Apr. 9, 2021
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. EDT

Please join us for a conversation between Richard J. Powell and the art collector Walter O. Evans about Ollie Harrington, the brilliant visual satirist who receives extensive attention in Powell's "Going There: Black Visual Satire" (Yale University Press, 2020). Amplifying Powell's extensive analysis of Harrington's long career and powerful work, Evans brings not only his deep understanding of Harrington's art but also his personal experience. As Harrington's supporter and advocate, Evans spent significant time with him in the US and in Berlin, where Harrington lived and worked for decades.

This conversation was moderated by Jasmine Nichole Cobb, Bacca Foundation Associate Professor of African & African American Studies and of Art, Art History and Visual Studies at Duke University.

These events were co-sponsored by the Department of African and African American Studies and the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies.

Publisher: Yale University Press, 2020
Going There: Black Visual Satire
Associated Program(s):