September 26, 2005

Deborah Willis

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Deborah Willis will give the talk, "Imaging Black Culture," Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m. in the Forum of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell University.

The talk, which is open to the public, is part of the ongoing annual Black Experiences Lecture Series at Bucknell.

A distinguished photographer, historian and MacArthur Fellow,Willis is professor of photography and imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.

In this lecture, she explores the transformation of the black image in photography, according to Susan Reed, director of Bucknell's Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender.

"At the turn of the 20th century, African Americans created a new and revised self-image through the medium of photography, challenging predominantly negative representations.

"Professor Willis examines the phenomena of racial uplift in imagery, the body as an art subject, the black female body, and the works of contemporary black photographers," said Reed.

One of the nation's leading historians of African American photography and curator of African American culture, Willis has exhibited her work nationwide.

Notable projects include The Black Female Body A Photographic History (with Carla Williams); A Small Nation of People: W.E.B. DuBois and the Photographs from the Paris Exposition; Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers - 1840 to the Present;and Picturing Us: African American Identity in Photography.

Willis also has written several articles about Carrie Mae Weems, whose work is being shown in the exhibit, "The Louisiana Project." The exhibit may be viewed Oct. 4 through Nov. 22 in the Samek Art Gallery in the Elaine Langone Center.

An exhibit opening reception with Willis will be held immediately following her lecture on Oct. 4.

The Black Experiences Lecture Series is sponsored by the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender at Bucknell. Willis' visit is co-sponsored by the University Lectureship Committee and the Office of the President as well as the Samek Art Gallery.

For more information about the exhibit, call 577-3792 or see http://www.bucknell.edu/SamekArtGallery/

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