Scholar Dorothy Wang and artist Al-An deSouza join The Brooklyn Rail Editor-at-Large Joan Kee for a conversation. We conclude with a poetry reading.
In this talk:
Dorothy Wang is Professor of American Studies at Williams College, where she spearheaded the founding of Asian American Studies. Her monograph, Thinking Its Presence: Form, Race, and Subjectivity in Contemporary Asian American Poetry (Stanford, 2013), won the Association for Asian American Studies’ award for best book of literary criticism in 2016 and made The New Yorker’s “The Books We Loved in 2016” list. The only national conference on race and creative writing is named after it. Wang conceived of and co-founded the Race and Poetry and Poetics in the UK (RAPAPUK) initiative. She has been an ACLS Frederick Burkhardt Fellow.
Al-An deSouza is an artist working across photo-media, installation, text and performance. They draw upon official and informal archives, remaking them through strategies of humor, fabulation, and (mis)translation. deSouza has exhibited extensively in the US and internationally, including at the Johnson Museum, Ithaca, NY, Krannert Museum, IL; Phillips Collection, Washington, DC; Pompidou Centre, Paris, and the Mori Museum, Tokyo. deSouza, a professor of Art Practice at University of California, Berkeley, has published numerous essays and two recent books: How Art Can Be Thought, A Handbook for Change (2018), and Ark of Martyrs (2020), a polyphonic, dysphoric replacement of Joseph Conrad’s infamous Heart of Darkness.
Professor Joan Kee teaches in the History of Art at the University of Michigan and is a Ford Foundation Scholar in Residence at MoMA. Her forthcoming book, The Geometries of Afro Asia: Art beyond Solidarity, engages with Black and Asian artists and the vibrant worlds they initiate through their works and will be released by the University of California Press this April. Kee’s other books include Models of Integrity: Art and Law in Post Sixties America (2019) and Contemporary Korean Art: Tansaekhwa and the Urgency of Method (2014). An occasional public interest lawyer in Detroit, she is an Editor-at-Large at the Brooklyn Rail.