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Chiara Adamo
Head of the Fundamental Rights Policy Unit, Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers, European Commission Read More ...
Awam Amkpa
Associate Professor, Social and Cultural Analysis, Faculty of Arts and Science; Undergraduate Drama, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University Read More ...
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Race, Racism and Xenophobia in a Global Context III: Brussels

November 9, 2017
Press release
Race, Racism and Xenophobia in a Global Context III: Brussels
Chiara Adamo
Head of the Fundamental Rights Policy Unit, Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers, European Commission

Chiara Adamo is head of the Fundamental Rights Policy Unit in the European Commission since 2014. The unit oversees the respect of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. She also promotes EU policies to combat racism and xenophobia,counter hate speech, and promote the rights of the child. She is a member of the Board of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency. Adamo worked for 5 years as head of the Union Citizenship and Free Movement Unit. She studied International and Diplomatic Relations in Gorizia, Italy, and Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium. She specialised in European studies at the College of Europe, Bruges, with a Masters thesis on the fight against trafficking in women. Since joining the European Commission in 2000 she has worked in the Justice and Home Affairs area. Before joining, she worked for civil society organisations and local administrations on development cooperation, human rights and immigration issues.

Awam Amkpa
Associate Professor, Social and Cultural Analysis, Faculty of Arts and Science; Undergraduate Drama, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University

Awam Amkpa is a dramatist, documentary filmmaker, scholar of theater and film and a curator of art and cultural practices. He is Associate Professor of Drama at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and Associate Professor of Africana Studies and Social and Cultural Analysis in NYU’s College of Arts and Science. He is the co-founder and co-curator of the annual Real Life Pan-African Documentary Film Festival in Accra, Ghana, a festival dedicated to African and African Diasporic filmmaking; curator of the photographic exhibition Africa: See You, See Me; and co-curator of the photographic exhibition They Won’t Budge: Africans in Europe. Amkpa curated annual Highlife Music Festivals in Accra, Ghana, as well as an online exhibition on Kofi Ghanaba. He is the curator of the exhibition ReSignifications. His documentary films include Winds Against Ours Souls, It’s All About Downtown, The Other Day We Went to the Movies, A Very Very Short Story of Nollywood, Accra Re-Inventions and the feature film ‘Wazobia!. Professor Amkpa has written plays such as Ajasco and Not In My Season of Songs, directed and toured several plays in Africa, Europe and North America, and is also the author of Theatre and Postcolonial Desires (Routledge, 2003) and of several articles on the African and Black Diasporic and Postcolonial theater, film, art and photography. Mentored by Wole Soyinka, Awam Amkpa has a Ph.D. in Drama from Bristol University, United Kingdom.

Eilish Anderson
NYU student

Eilish Anderson is a junior Global Liberal Studies major, studying Politics and Italian at New York University Florence. She is passionate about social justice, especially concerning women’s issues and the environment, and is currently completing an internship with the office of the Mayor of Florence. She comes from Seattle, Washington.

Nana Apraku
NYU student

Nana Apraku is a senior at the NYU Stern School of Business pursuing a bachelor’s degree in International Business and Management with a minor in Social Entrepreneurship. Nana was raised in the Bronx, New York, but her parents are immigrants from Ghana, West Africa, both of these locations taught her the importance of institutions which were structured to uplift communities. She has a passion for using the power of a business to benefit the ecosystems in which they operate. Nana spends her spare time as taking pictures as a street photographer and leading organizations on NYU’s campus that are dedicated to workforce diversity and equal access to education.

Lynne Brown
Senior Vice President, University Relations and Public Affairs, New York University

Lynne P. Brown, Ph.D., is the Senior Vice President for University Relations and Public Affairs. In that position, Brown is responsible for the University’s interaction with government at all levels, outreach to the community, strategic communications, and university events. She oversees the offices of: Government and Community Affairs, Civic Engagement, University Events, Marketing Communications, Web Communications, Media Production, and Public Affairs. A political scientist by training, Brown received her B.A. from Smith College, where she was elected Phi Beta Kappa, and went on to receive her Ph.D. in Political Science from The Johns Hopkins University. At NYU, she taught a graduate seminar on the politics of higher education for twenty years. Before coming to NYU, Brown worked on Capitol Hill for Congressman (and now NYU President Emeritus) John Brademas and Congressman Thomas S. Foley during their tenures as Majority Whips in the House of Representatives. A native New Yorker, Brown serves on a number of civic boards, including the Union Square Partnership, where she is co-chair; New York Building Congress, where she is Co-Chair of the Higher Education committee; and the Grey Art Gallery Advisory Committee. She is a trustee emerita of Manhattan College (Riverdale, New York) and also serves as the Executive Director of the John Brademas Center for the Study of Congress.

Sariah Bunker
NYU student

Sariah Bunker is a junior pursuing a double major in Global Liberal Studies and Sociology. They spent their first year studying at NYU Florence where they received the David J. Travis Undergraduate Research Grant and studied the intersection between contemporary art and the Renaissance in Florence. They also received the Zayat Career Writing Award in 2017. They are fascinated by all kinds of art, literature, music, and performance. They spend their free time exploring the city, backpacking, writing, or painting.

Paulette Caldwell
Professor of Law, New York University School of Law

Paulette M. Caldwell is Professor of Law at New York University School of Law. Her teaching and scholarly interests include critical race theory, employment discrimination law, law and policy in elementary and secondary education, and the intersection of race and gender in law and public policy. Prior to joining the NYU law faculty, she worked at the Ford Foundation and the law firm of Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler specializing in real estate transactions and the corporate and tax representation of charitable and other nonprofit organizations. She has served as a consultant to and board member of a number of nonprofit organizations and is currently a member of the national governing board of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Sandrine Colard
Assistant Professor Faculty/Fellow, Department of Photography & Imaging, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University

Sandrine Colard is Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow in the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She holds a Ph.D. in Art History from Columbia University, and an M.A. in Africana Studies from New York University. She received her B.A. in English Literature from the University of Brussels. Colard is a historian of modern and contemporary African arts and photography, with a focus on Central Africa. Her scholarly interests include post-colonialism in the arts, cross-cultural exchanges in visual cultures, colonial imagery and African portraiture, family photography, the representation of gender and domesticity, and the globalization of the contemporary art scene. Based on research conducted in Belgium, Kinshasa and Lubumbashi (Democratic Republic of the Congo), her current book project examines the history of photography in the colonial Congo (1885-1960). Colard has published extensively on the “archival turn” in African arts. She has taught and lectured at Columbia University and Barnard College (New York). She has also co-curated the exhibition The Expanded Subject: New Perspectives in Photographic Portraiture from Africa at the Wallach Art Gallery (2016). Among others, Colard’s research was supported by fellowships from the Belgian-American Educational Foundation, the Musée du Quai Branly, and the Pierre and Maria-Gaetana Matisse Fellowship Fund for 20th Century Art. Before joining NYU, Colard was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institut National d´Histoire de l´Art in Paris.

Michelle Deme
NYU student

Michelle Deme is a junior at the Tisch School of the Arts, studying Drama with a double major in Politics. Michelle studied at NYU Florence her first year and interned with La Pietra Dialogues. There her main focus encompassed the refugee crisis and its effects on the European political climate. In the near future, she hopes to combine her two passions: acting and activism through either performance art or other artistic platforms. In her free time, she loves to dance, eat, and post political memes on social media.

Dipti Desai
Dipti Desai, Associate Professor and Director of the Graduate Art + Education Programs, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, New York University

Dipti Desai is Associate Professor and Director of the Graduate Art + Education Programs at New York University. As a scholar and artist-educator, her work addresses the intersection between visual art, activism, and critical pedagogy. She has published widely in the area of critical multiculturalism/critical race theory in art education, contemporary art as a pedagogical site, and critical pedagogy. She is the co-editor of Social Justice and the Arts (Taylor and Francis, 2015) and co-author of the book History as Art, Art as History: Contemporary Art and Social Studies Education. Desai received an honorable mention for Curriculum Practice Category by Division B of the American Education and Research Association. As a guest editor, she curated the current summer issue of Visual Inquiry: Learning and Teaching Art, which focused on artistic activism Among her awards, she received the Ziegfield Service Award for her contributions to International Art Education and the Specialist Fulbright Award. Her research interests explore contemporary art as a critical pedagogical site, artistic activism, and critical race theory in art + education.

Alessandra Di Maio
Associate Professor of English and Postcolonial Studies, University of Palermo

Alessandra Di Maio is Associate Professor of English and Postcolonial Studies at the University of Palermo, Italy. She divides her time between Italy and the U.S., where she taught at several universities after earning her Ph.D. in comparative literature at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her research includes postcolonial, black, diasporic, migratory, gender studies and transnational cultural identities. She is currently working on a project on African Italian literature and the Black Mediterranean. She has been the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship, a UCLA Mellon postdoctoral fellowship, and a MacArthur Research and Writing Grant. Among her publications are Tutuola at the University, The Italian Voice of a Yoruba Ancestor (Bulzoni, 2000); An African Renaissance (Palermo Press, 2006); Wor(l)ds in Progress: A Study of Contemporary Migrant Writings (Mimesis, 2008); and Dedica a Wole Soyinka (Dedica Edizioni, 2012). She has translated into Italian several authors, among them Nigerian Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, with whom she has conceived the poetry anthology Migrazioni/Migrations (2016).

Felipe Gomes
NYU student

Felipe Gomes is a junior in Liberal Studies, double-majoring in Global Liberal Studies and Neuroscience, and minoring in Italian. Felipe spent his first year away at NYU Florence where he studied classics, Italian culture and fell in love with everything about Italy and its people. Throughout his time in Florence, Felipe became fascinated by culture and how it interacts and changes affecting those around it. Born in Brazil, but raised in a conservative suburb of Orlando, Florida Felipe is very passionate about his identity and wants to bring the conversation about all different types of identity to NYU as he knows how difficult it can be to blend two very different cultures together. At NYU Felipe is the Vice President of Global Liberal Studies on the Liberal Studies Student Council, serving as a student leader assisting incoming first-year students transition to their new life at NYU and New York City. Mental health is very near to Felipe’s heart, and interned with the First Lady of New York at City Hall in Spring 2017 assisting her and learning more about all the new policy implementations that are being made throughout New York City to aid those with mental illnesses and promote mental health awareness. Felipe’s passions are for performing, human rights activism, and multiculturalism in education and corporations. Felipe hopes his passion for human rights and coexistence of all differences will one day impact the world for the better.

Natalie Gomez
NYU student

Natalie Gomez is a junior in Global Liberal Studies concentrating in Contemporary Culture and Creative Production. She is passionate about improving her community and is interested in law and city government. She hopes to one day work in the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, helping to create more equitable public spaces.

Parker Hollingsworth
NYU student

Parker Hollingsworth is a junior in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study concentrating in Artificial Intelligence and Games. He is fascinated by the intersection between systems of play and systems of computer architecture. In his studies he hopes to better understand how the underlying development of culture and human psychology throughout history have shaped what it means to be human and how this human nature has impacted the development of artificial intelligence algorithms that mimic humanity itself.

Ismail Ibrahim
NYU student

Ismail Ibrahim is a sophomore studying Journalism. He spent his first year at NYU Florence, and worked for La Pietra Dialogues, writing many articles on a number of different topics, from the Vagina Monologues to ISIS. He hopes his Arabic heritage, love of travel, and desire to aide the Middle East will coalesce in his writing, producing a piece of magnitude and substance.

Jason King
Associate Professor and Director of Global Studies, Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, New York University

Jason King (Ph.D) is Associate Professor, Director of Global Studies, and Director of Writing, History & Emergent Media Studies and the founding faculty member at New York University´s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. A journalist, musician, DJ and producer, he was the program´s first Interim Chair, Associate Chair and Artistic Director. Dr. King has been teaching classes on popular music history, the music business (marketing/ branding) and the social aspects of music technology for seventeen years, as well as teaching at NYU campuses in Singapore and Abu Dhabi and developing study abroad programs in Berlin and Havana. He is the author of The Michael Jackson Treasures, a 2009 Barnes and Noble exclusive biography on the King of Pop, which has been translated into more than 7 languages, and a regular contributor to publications like Pitchfork, National Public Radio (NPR), Slate, Billboard, Red Bull Music Academy, Buzzfeed and Vice. He has been an expert witness in copyright infringement cases for Jay Z, Timbaland, Lady Gaga, Madonna and others and has appeared in many televised music documentaries, including PBS´ multi-part series Soundbreaking (for which he was also the creative consultant), CNN´s Soundtracks, Spike Lee´s acclaimed Bad 25 and Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall. He was the host and co-producer of NPR´s Noteworthy, a series on the creative process of music superstars, as well as the curator of NPR&B, NPR´s 24/7 R&B radio channel, and he is the current host of CNN’s Soundtracks: The B Side Podcast. He is also the producer, songwriter, performer, and driving force behind Company Freak, an international dance music “superband” featuring original members of legendary groups like Chic and D-Train. Twitter and IG: @jasonkingsays

Cecile Kyenge
European Parliament

Cecile Kyenge, former Italian Minister for Integration, has been a Member of the European Parliament since 2014. As MEP, she is a member the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) and the Committee on Development (DEVE). She is also Vice-President of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly ACP-EU and member of the delegation for relations with the Pan-African Parliament. She is co-President of the European Parliament Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup (ARDI). She was the co-rapporteur for the European Parliament’s report on the situation in the Mediterranean and the need for a holistic approach to migration. In 2015 and 2016 she was appointed Chief Observer of the EU election observation missions in Burkina Faso and Zambia. She was also part of the EU Parliament´s delegation for the EU election observation missions in Nigeria, Haiti and Gabon.

Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar
Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament

Krystal McLeod
Assistant Manager, Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives, Office of Global Programs, New York University

Krystal McLeod is a 2015 Truman Scholar and 2016 graduate of NYU´s College of Arts and Science. She is most passionate about advancing diversity, inclusion, and equity in global contexts. After witnessing first-hand the educational disparities within her own household and community, she used her experience with national nonprofits, non-governmental organizations, and the United Nations Department of Public Information, to develop her own educational initiative “My” Right to Learn, as both a Dalai Lama and Gallatin Global Human Rights Fellow. In 2014, she instituted this summer program for low-income minority youth. Since then New York University has recognized “My” Right to Learn for its lasting impact with the 2015 Martin Luther King Trailblazer Award. Krystal has since continued her commitment to diversity and inclusion by serving as the Vice Chair to the University Senate Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and working at the White House within the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs on salient issues for underrepresented minority communities. In 2016 she returned to NYU to help manage global site-based diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. She is a President´s Service Individual Awardee, a New York State Independent Sector Community Service Awardee, OP Outstanding Regional HEOP Student Recipient, Dean´s Award Recipient, University Honors Scholar, and most recently a member of the NYU Alumni Association Board of Directors and NYU Leadership Initiative Advisory Council.

Mathias Möschel
Professor of Law, Central European University

Mathias Möschel is Associate Professor and Director of the Doctoral Program at the Legal Studies Department of Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. His research, teaching and publications fall broadly in the field of comparative (constitutional) law, international human rights law, and non-discrimination law, mainly from a critical race theory and gender perspective. Among other publications, he has authored the book Law, Lawyers and Race: Critical Race Theory from the United States to Europe (Routledge, 2014) and co-edited the first book on Critical Race Theory in French, Critical Race Theory: Une introduction aux grands textes fondateurs (Dalloz, 2017). Prior to joining the CEU, Möschel held research and teaching positions at the University of Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, New York University, and the Institut de Droit Comparé of University of Paris II (Panthéon-Assas). He has also worked at the European Commission and as an attorney in a California (Silicon Valley) law firm. In addition to his academic qualifications, Möschel is also admitted to practice at the New York Bar. Mathias Möschel obtained his undergraduate law degree from University of Milan, Italy and has a Postgraduate Diploma in Comparative Law from the Faculté Internationale de Droit Comparé de Strasbourg (France), an LL.M. from University of California, Berkeley School of Law (United States) and a Ph.D. from the European University Institute of Florence (Italy).

Ann Morning
Professor of Sociology, College of Arts and Science, New York University

Ann Morning is Associate Professor of Sociology at New York University and a faculty affiliate of NYU Abu Dhabi. Her research interests include race, demography, and the sociology of science, especially as they pertain to census classification worldwide and to individuals’ concepts of difference. She is the author of The Nature of Race: How Scientists Think and Teach about Human Difference (University of California Press, 2011), a member of the U.S. Census Bureau’s National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations, and has consulted on ethnoracial statistics for the European Commission and the United Nations. Morning was awarded a Fulbright research grant to spend the 2008-09 academic year at the University of Milan-Bicocca (Italy), and was a 2014-15 Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation. She is currently at work on a book entitled An Ugly Word: Talking and Not Talking About Race in Italy and the United States, to be published by RSF with co-author Marcello Maneri (University of Milan-Bicocca).

Pamela Newkirk
Professor of Journalism, Arthur Carter Journalism Institute, New York University

Pamela Newkirk is an award-winning journalist whose articles have been published in numerous publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, and The Guardian. Her latest book Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga won a 2016 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Image Award for Outstanding Literary Non-Fiction and was included on a number of 2015 best books lists, including those of National Public Radio, The Boston Globe, and the San Francisco Chronicle. She is also the author of Within the Veil: Black Journalists, White Media (NYU Press, 2000), which won the National Press Club Award for Media Criticism. Prior to joining the New York University Journalism Faculty she worked at four news organizations, including New York Newsday where she was part of a Pulitzer Prize winning team. She holds an undergraduate journalism degree from New York University and Master’s and Doctorate degrees from Columbia University.

Michael Privot
Director, European Network Against Racism

Michael Privot started as Networking and Campaigns Officer in the European Network Against Racism (ENAR) team in January 2006 and became ENAR Director in March 2010. He is also an international expert on radicalisation processes within Muslim communities. Previously, he worked for four years as a Fund for Scientific Research Fellow at the University of Liège in Belgium. He has more than a decade of experience in community building of Muslim communities in Belgium and Europe. He holds a B.A. in Oriental History and Philology (Islamic Studies), a specialisation in Comparative History of Religions (University of Liège) and Arabic (University of Damas), and a Ph.D. in Languages and Literature from the University of Liège. He has authored a book with T. Oubrou and C. Baylocq on imams in France, a number of academic publications, published op-ed articles and appeared in a variety of media, including Euronews, Voice of America, Al Jazeera, Le Soir, Radio Télévision Belge Francophone, and European Voice.

Renate Schroeder
Director, European Federation of Journalists

Renate Schroeder is the Director of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the largest organisation of journalists in Europe, representing over 320,000 journalists in 71 journalists’ organisations across 43 countries. In 1993 she started working for the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and since 2003 for the EFJ. Schroeder studied International Relations and Political Science at Boston University, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in 1988, Magna Cum Laude, and in Berlin at the Free University, where she earned a Master’s Degree in 1992. The major themes she studied during her masters program were nationalism, integration and refugee policy. Her Master’s thesis was about the economic and social integration of the Korean community in New York. Schroeder worked, among others, at the United Nations, New York, the research institute FAST in Berlin and the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation in Brussels before she joined the IFJ/EFJ team. She is of German nationality and speaks English, French, Italian, German and Spanish.

Debora Spini
Lecturer, New York University Florence

Debora Spini teaches Social Foundations at New York University Florence, Political Theory at Syracuse University in Florence, and is adjunct professor in Social Philosophy at the Cesare Alfieri School of Political Science at the University of Florence. She is author of monographs, such as La società civile post nazionale (Meltemi, Roma, 2006), and co-editor of several collective books, including Art and Practices of Citizenship, La coscienza protestante, (Claudiana, 2015), Civil Society and Global Governance, (Routledge, Garnet Book Series, 2010). She has published various essays and chapters in collective books, including the most recent Protestantesimo e Sfera pubblica in Forum sul Suffragismo (in Storia e politica, 2017, n. 2, pp 535-546), La secolarizzazione e i suoi “post”. Democrazie e Sacro condiviso in Il Senso della Repubblica nel XXI secolo (, 2016) and Religione e felicità, in Felicità italiane. Un campionario filosofico (Mimesis 2016). Spini has held lectures in italy and abroad, most recently at Bangalore University and at University of Madras Chennai in India.

John Kuo Wei Tchen
Professor, New York University; Founding Director, Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program and Institute, New York University

John Kuo Wei (Jack) Tchen is a teacher, historian, curator, and organization founder-strategist currently researching the ongoing impacts of eugenics on American life, Jim Crow spatiality, subaltern archives, and modern organizational design. His recent exhibitions include: The Haunted Files: The Eugenics Record Office, The Normal and In the Shadow of the Highway: Robert Moses’ Expressway & the Battle for Downtown. Tchen is also co-author of Yellow Peril! An Archive of Anti-Asian Fear (Verso, 2014), a study emerging from 30 years of building of research collections in New York City. Beginning Fall 2018, Professor Tchen will be the Inaugural Clement A Price Chair of Public History and Humanities at Rutgers University and Director of the Price Institute of Ethnicity, Culture & the Modern Experience. He is Founding Director of the Asian Pacific American Studies Program and Institute at New York University and a founding faculty of NYU’s Department of Social and Cultural Analysis. He co-founded the Museum of Chinese in America in 1979-80 where he continues to serve as Senior Historian.

Ellyn Toscano
Executive Director, New York University Florence; Director, Villa La Pietra

Ellyn Toscano is Executive Director of New York University Florence. ​She is the founder and director of La Pietra Dialogues and producer of The Season, a summer festival which assembles artists, writers, musicians and public intellectuals to produce new works or reinterpretations of classics. Toscano co-organized the renowned Black Portraitures II conference at NYU Florence, a ​gathering of scholars and public figures to offer comparative perspectives on the historical and contemporary role played by photography, art, film, literature, and music in referencing the image of the black body in the West. She also produced the corresponding exhibition ReS​ignifications, held at three locations in the city of Florence, showcasing contemporary works by artists from around the world. She is a member of the Honorary Board of the Museo Marino Marini in Florence, Italy; the Advisory Board of the John Brademas Center, New York; the Italian Advisory Council of the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Umbertide, Italy; and the Comitato Promotore of the Festival degli Scrittori and the Premio Gregor von Rezzori, Santa Maddalena Foundation, Donnini, Italy. Before arriving at New York University Florence, Toscano served as Chief of Staff and Counsel to Congressman Josè Serrano of New York, was his chief policy advisor on legislative, political and media concerns and directed his work on the Appropriations Committee. Toscano also served as counsel to the New York State Assembly Committee on Education for nine ​years and served on the boards of several prominent arts and cultural institutions in New York City, including The Bronx Museum of the Arts and the Brooklyn Academy of Music (representative of the Borough President)​, and on the board of trustees of the International School of Florence, Italy. A lawyer by training, Toscano earned an LLM in International Law from New York University School of Law.

Deborah Willis
Professor and Chair, Department of Photography & Imaging, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University

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 and imaging, iconicity, and cultural histories visualizing the black body, women, and gender. Her research examines photography’s multifaceted histories, visual culture, the photographic history of slavery and emancipation; contemporary women photographers and beauty. She received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship and was a Richard D. Cohen Fellow in African and African American Art, Hutchins Center, Harvard University; a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, and an Alphonse Fletcher, Jr. Fellow. 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. Willis is the author of Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present; Out [o] Fashion Photography: Embracing Beauty; Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers – 1840 to the Present; Let Your Motto be Resistance – African American Portraits; Family History Memory: Photographs by Deborah Willis; VANDERZEE: The Portraits of James VanDerZee and co-author of The Black Female Body: A Photographic History with Carla Williams; Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery with Barbara Krauthamer; and Michelle Obama: The First Lady in Photographs (both titles a Image Award Winner by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). She lectures widely and has authored many papers and articles on a range of subjects. Professor Willis is editor of Picturing Us: African American Identity in Photography and Black Venus 2010: They Called Her “Hottentot” which received the Susan Koppelman Award for the Best Edited Volume in Women’s Studies by the Popular Culture/American Culture Association in 2011. Exhibitions of her art work include: A Sense of Place, Frick, University of Pittsburgh; Regarding Beauty, University of Wisconsin, Interventions in Printmaking: Three Generations of African-American Women, Allentown Museum of Art; A Family Affair, University of South Florida; I am Going to Eatonville, Zora Neale Hurston Museum; Afrique: See you, see me; Progeny: Deborah Willis and Hank Willis Thomas, Gantt Center. Professor Willis’s curated exhibitions include: Convergence, Joan Mitchell Center, New Orleans; Out [o] Fashion Photography: Embracing Beauty, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Visualizing Emancipation, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Gordon Parks: 100 Moments, Schomburg Center; Posing Beauty Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits at the International Center of Photography and, Social in Practice: The Art of Collaboration, Nathan Cummings Foundation. Deborah Willis has served as a consultant to museums, archives, and educational centers. She has appeared and consulted on media projects including the documentary films Through A Lens Darkly, Question Bridge: Black Males, a transmedia project which received the international Center of Photography Infinity Award 2015 and the PBS documentary American Photography. 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.

Helen You
NYU student

Helen You is a student in the College of Arts and Science at NYU pursuing her Bachelor’s Honors Degree in International Relations as well as her Masters at the Graduate School of Arts and Science at NYU in International Relations with a concentration in International Law. Born in South Korea and raised in New York, Helen grew up with two siblings and two dogs, playing soccer, lacrosse and running track in her spare time. A previous intern at La Pietra Dialogues, her passion for foreign affairs was fostered during her first year in Florence, specifically in the realm of counter-terrorism and the relationship between foreign policy and military proliferation.

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