Anna Arabindan-Kesson
Art historian, writer, curator

Public Speaking

Anna Arabindan-Kesson - presentations, guest lectures, media appearances and more.


Talks, Presentations, and Media Appearances


I regularly present my research in a variety of public settings from academic gatherings to community and museum events. For more information please be in touch via the contact page on this website.



November 5: The Trouble with Apu, Panel discussion on Race and Representation for US Media Literacy Week, Center for Media and Information Literacy, Temple University

November 16-17: Poetry and Freedom: Robert S Duncanson’s Visionary Landscapes, Black Atlantic Authorship and Art Conference, University of Edinburgh

Talks, Lectures, Media Appearances

September 29, 2018: Book discussion with Dr Nell Painter about her memoir, “Old in Art School” , Uncle Bobbies, People’s Learning Center, Philadelphia

August 14, 2018: Black Bodies, White Gold, Book Talk with Dr Samantha Owen, Mello House, Perth, Western Australia

August 13 2018: Black Bodies, White Gold: Cotton, Art and the Materiality of Race, Visiting Research Fellow, Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Western Australia. Listen here

August 10 2018: Mining Vision: Ingrid Pollard's Photographic Formations, University of Sydney. More information

August 8 2018: Vision and Value: Cotton and the Materiality of Race, Contemporary History Workshop, Deakin University

November 2017: Black Bodies, White Gold: Cotton and the Materiality of Race, Rewald Lecture, Department of Art History, Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY)

April 2017: Interviewed for Mrs Pinckney and the Emancipated Birds of South Carolina Yinka Shonibare, MBE (RA), A film by Cultureshock Media Production for the Yale Center for British Art. Link to film

March 2017: The Ethics of Looking: Zanele Muholi's Visual Activism, Princeton University Art Museum

May 2016: Narrative Shifts, Keynote Speaker, Mellon May Undergraduate Fellowship Program Banquet, Princeton University

March 2016: Family Jules: Barkley L Hendricks and the Male Nude, African American Studies Faculty Brown Bag Seminar, Princeton University

April 2016: The Currency of Cotton: Art, Materiality and Memory, Center for Humanities at Temple University.  View here

December 2015: Radio Interview for 900AM-WURD on art and representation. Listen here

November 2015: A Material with Memory: Cotton, Race, and Representation in America, Center for Visual Culture Colloquium, Bryn Mawr College. More information

October 2015: Portraiture, Beyond The Margins, Lebanon Valley College Colloquium Speaker Series

January 2015: “What is Visual Literacy and why does it matter?” interview for Articulate with Jim Cotter, WHYY, on air January 8

September 2014: The Sharecropper on the Street: Life and Labor in the Harriet and Harmon Kelly Collection, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

October 2013: The Transnational Spaces of Things in Transnational Imaginaries, Graduate Seminar, Yale University, Department of African American Studies

April 2012: Networks of Labor: The Representation of Cotton in 19th Century America, Whitworth Gallery of Art

April 2012: The Meaning of Cotton in 19th Century America, Research Lecture, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC

April 2012: Networks of Labor: Cotton in American Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum

March 2012: Cotton: The Fiber that Binds,  Ryerson University

April 2011: Portraits, Photographs and Paint: A Dialogue With Barkley Hendricks, Yale University Art Gallery

April 2011: Curating African American Art in Theorizing Racial Formations, Graduate Seminar, Yale University

November 2010: Describing Beauty: Dance, Exoticism and Figuration in the Paintings of John La Farge, Public talk, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven CT

Conference and Academic Presentations

June 2018: The Migrant’s Time, Resignifications: Black Mediterranean, University of Palermo, Sicily

May 2018: Conversation with Patricia Kaersenhout, Small Axe: Visual Life of Social Affliction, University of Miami. More information

June 2017: The Impermanence of Place: Migration, Memoir and Memory, Gender and Migration Workshop, NYU, Villa La Pietra, Florence

November 2016: Indian Photographers, African Subjects at Black Portraitures III, Reinventions: Strains of Histories and Culture, Johannesburg, South Africa.

November 2016: Ingrid Pollard: Landscape Interrupted at Britishness and Photography conference, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT. View here

March 2016: To Touch and Wear: The Corporeality of Cotton Fabricating Truths: African-American Women and Clothing in the 19th Century Panel,  c19 Conference, State University of Pennsylvania

December 2015: Art and Activism, Panel in conjunction with Procession: The Art of Norman Lewis, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. More information

October 2015: Materiality and Memory in the work of Lubaina Himid at Legacies of British Slave Ownership Workshop, Whitworth Museum, Manchester, England. More information

May 2015: Decoding Blackness in the Museum: Contemporary Legacies and Historical Surveys (with Cyra Levenson) at Black Portraiture[s] II: Imaging the Black Body and Re-staging Histories, New York University/Florence, Italy, Villa La Pietra. View here

April 2015: The Production of ‘Negro’ Cloth at Cotton Textiles and their legacies: Histories and Geographies of Production, Consumption and Heritage: AHRC International Connected Communities Workshop, Global Cotton Connections Project, University of Nottingham, England

November 2014: Material and Metaphor: Cotton and the Art of Leonardo Drew, at Things (re) Called: Memory and Materiality Across the Disciplines, Yale University, New Haven

November 2014: Figures of Empire: Contemporary Artists respond to Eighteenth Century British Portraiture, Endeavors Colloquium, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven

April 2014: Antebellum Geographies of Cotton Production From Plantation to Factory and Back Again, Crossing Borders Panel, Organization of American History Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia

October 2013: Connected by a Thread: The Politics of Cotton in the Civil War, Home Front: Daily Life in the Civil War North Symposium, Newberry Library, Chicago Ill

January 2013: Portraits in Black: Style, Space and Subjectivity in the Art of Barkley L Hendricks and Elizabeth Colomba, Black Portraiture[s]: The Black Body in the West, Paris, France

April 2012: The Progress of Cotton in Antebellum America, Yale Material Culture Working Group, New Haven CT

November 2011: Indo-Jamaican Religious Visual Culture, Sensational Religion: Sense and Contention in Material Practice, New Scholarship Roundtable, Yale University, New Haven CT

April 2011: The Progress of Cotton: Geographies of Labor in the Antebellum Anglo-American World, The Sights and Sounds of Transnationalism: Sensing Through the Nation, Tufts University, Boston Mass