PICTURING US: The Work of Deborah Willis
The From Slavery to Freedom Lab at the Franklin Humanities Institute hosted a conversation with pioneering voice of Black photography, Dr. Deborah Willis, as she discussed her body of work. Deborah Willis, Ph.D, is University Professor and Chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and has an affiliated appointment with the College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Social & Cultural, Africana Studies, where she teaches courses on Photography & Imaging, iconicity, and cultural histories visualizing the black body, women, and gender. She has pursued a dual professional career as an art photographer and as one of the nation's leading historians of African American photography and curator of African American culture.
In addition to making art, writing and teaching, she has served as a consultant to museums, archives, and educational centers. She has appeared and consulted on media projects including the documentary films such as Through A Lens Darkly, Question Bridge: Black Males, a transmedia project, which received the ICP Infinity Award 2015, and American Photography, PBS Documentary. Since 2006 she has co-organized thematic conferences exploring imaging the black body in the West. Professor Willis has been elected to the board of the Society for Photographic Education, where she was Chair of the Board and received the Honored Educator Award in 2012 and the College Art Association. She holds honorary degrees from Pratt Institute and the Maryland Institute, College of Art. She is currently researching a book on an early 20th century portraitist and educator.