Anna Arabindan-Kesson
Art historian, writer, curator


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Upcoming Public Lecture and Masterclass at the University of Western Australia

Returning home to Perth is always a pleasure. This August I’ll be heading back to Western Australia (after a couple of lectures and talks at the University of Sydney and Deakin University in Melbourne), to deliver a public lecture and teach a Masterclass at my beautiful alma mater, the University of Western Australia. My lecture at the Institute of Advanced Studies on August 13th, Black Bodies, White Gold: Cotton, Art and the Materiality of Race is based on research I have conducted for my book and will examine the visual relationship between the cotton trade and the representation of blackness in American culture. While the histories I am discussing are localized to the trans-Atlantic trade in cotton and enslaved Africans, they resonate with the exploitation of Indigenous Australians, and Australian South Sea Islanders whose forced labor was crucial for colonial commerce in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The visual and historical legacies of slavery in the Atlantic world and indentured labor in the Pacific are closely entwined.

On August 14th I’ll be leading a Masterclass on photography, landscape and colonial histories called Mining Memory: Ingrid Pollard’s Photographic Formations with students from the University. It’s been over ten years since I graduated from UWA, so I’m both excited, and immensely grateful to have this opportunity to return to the academic community that has influenced my scholarship and intellectual formation so deeply.