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UCR Black Aesthetics Conference Schedule Set

UCR Black Aesthetics Conference Schedule Set

(October 11, 2001)

The schedule has been set for the University of California, Riverside conference on the roots of the modern black arts movement on October 19 & 20. The free public conference is titled “The Black Aesthetic: 1960 to 2001.”

Conference scholars and performers from throughout the United States will gather at UCR and discuss the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s. It has become a benchmark in developing today’s artistic aesthetic, which is linked both to the forms developed by African slaves in the Americas and to social activism in the aftermath of U.S. Black Power and civil rights movements.

The conference begins Friday, Oct. 19 at the UCR/California Museum of Photography with a reception and exhibit of the Huey P. Newton Collection and a performance by the jazz performance-art duet Cultural Odyssey.

The gathering moves to the Riverside Convention Center on Saturday, Oct. 20, for roundtable discussions, with such titles as, “Revisiting the Black Aesthetic”; “Relocating Black Aesthetics: Geographies of the Imagination”; and “Beats, Rhymes, and Cuts: Articulating Black Differences Today.” The day will end with an open-microphone, jam and improvisational performance session at the UCR/California Museum of Photography.

The Center for Ideas and Society at UCR, the UC Humanities Research Institute, the Ford Foundation and the California Arts Council sponsor the two-day event.

In using the term “Black Aesthetics,” conference organizers broadened the geographic and cultural borders of discussion beyond the United States to include the contributions of Africans from throughout the Western Hemisphere – a consequence of the slave trade known as the “African Diaspora.” This broad view is now seen as central to any concept of modern Black art and identity.

The “Black Aesthetics” conference grew out of the large 1998 gathering, partially funded by the Ford Foundation, titled “Aesthetics and Difference: Cultural Diversity, Literature, and the Arts,” organized by the Center for Ideas & Society. This smaller conference is one of several funded by the center’s multi-year Ford Foundation grant that was planned to delve deeply into specific issues raised by the earlier wide-ranging conference.

More information about registration and conference events is available on the Center for Ideas and Society web site at:

The Black Aesthetic: 1960-2001

Conference Schedule, October 19 and 20, 2001

Friday, Oct 19: (UC Riverside California Museum of Photography)

6:00 p.m. Buffet Reception and Huey P. Newton Collection exhibition opening

6:15 p.m. Welcoming Remarks

7:30 p.m. Performance: Cultural Odyssey (Rhodessa Jones and Idris Ackamoor)

Funded in part by the California Arts Council

8:45 p.m. Discussion between performers and audience

(Moderator: Susan Foster, UC Riverside)

Saturday, October 20:

8:00 a.m. Coffee, etc. and Registration (Convention Center)

8:30 a.m. Opening Remarks by Valerie Smith, Professor of English, Princeton U

9:00 a.m. First Roundtable: Revisiting the Black Aesthetic

Sterling Stuckey, Moderator, UC Riverside

Senga Nengudi, University Colorado at Colorado Springs

Lorenzo Thomas, University of Houston-Downtown

Clyde Taylor, New York University

Amy Ongiri, UC Riverside

Katherine Kinney, UC Riverside

10:45 a.m. Coffee Break

11:00 a.m. Second Roundtable: Spaces of Difference: Placing the Black Aesthetics’ Margins

Anna Scott, Moderator, UC Riverside

Maia, Composer, Multi-Instrumentalist, Vocalist, Actor

Isaura Oliveira, Dancer

Carol Boyce Davies, Northwestern University

Kerry James Marshall, University of Illinois at Chicago

Jocelyne Guilbault, UC Berkeley

12:45 p.m. Lunch for Participants and Audience

1:45 p.m. Third Roundtable: Relocating Black Aesthetics: Geographies of the Imagination

Richard Yarborough, Moderator, UCLA

Mae Henderson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Judith Wilson, UC Irvine

Nicole King, UC San Diego

Ethan Nasreddin-Longo, UC Riverside

Hershini Bhana, UC Riverside

3:30 p.m. Coffee Break

3:45 p.m. Final Roundtable: Beats, Rhymes, and Cuts: Articulating Black Differences Today

Josh Kun, Moderator, UC Riverside

Jerry Quickley, LA Spoken Word Artist

Rhodessa Jones and Idris Ackamoor, Cultural Odyssey

Wahneema Lubiano, Duke University

Aldon Lynn Nielsen, Pennsylvania State University

Harryette Mullen, UCLA

Tyehimba Jess, Writer

6:00 p.m. Buffet Reception (UC Riverside California Museum of Photography)

7:30 p.m. Open Mike/Jam and Improv Session (UC Riverside California Museum of Photography)

Conference Venues:

UCR/California Museum of Photography – 3824 Main St., Riverside (909) 787-4787

Riverside Convention Center – 3443 Orange St., Riverside (909) 787-7950

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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