Associate Professor of Art Tanya Sheehan spoke at a major international conference, Black Portraitures II: Imaging the Black Body and Re-Staging Histories, organized by New York University and Harvard University. Held May 28-31 in Florence, Italy, the conference brought together artists and scholars from disciplines including art history, fashion, dance, theater, and studio art in wide-ranging conversations about imaging the black body.

Sheehan’s paper took a close look at the recent inclusion of popular visual culture in the multivolume series The Image of the Black in Western Art. According to Sheehan, the critical attention paid to mass-produced, stereotypical images of people of African descent in the series presents an important opportunity to reflect on the value of keeping such images alive and visible in the 21st century.