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Paul R. Jones Lecture 2021

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Dr. Deborah Willis

Paul R Jones Annual Lecturer, Dr. Deborah Willis

​Wednesday, March 3, 2021

6:00 pm

Virtual Webinar - Register HERE

Deborah Willis, Ph.D, is a practicing artist, renowned scholar, educator and curator; she has shaped the study of Black photography across the globe. Professor Willis is a University Professor and Chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and has an affiliated appointment with the College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Social & Cultural Analysis, Africana Studies, where she teaches courses on Photography & Imaging, iconicity, and cultural histories visualizing the black body, women, and gender. Her research examines photography’s multifaceted histories, visual culture, the photographic history of Slavery and Emancipation; contemporary women photographers and beauty. She received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. 

Willis is the author of Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present; and co-author of The Black Female Body A Photographic HistoryEnvisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery; and Michelle Obama: The First Lady in Photographs (both titles a NAACP Image Award Winner). Professor Willis’s curated exhibitions include: "In Pursuit of Beauty" at Express Newark; "Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits” at the International Center of Photography and "Reframing Beauty: Intimate Moments" at Indiana University. Since 2006 she has co-organized thematic conferences exploring imaging the Black body in the West such as the conference titled Black Portraiture[s] which was held in Johannesburg in 2016. 

She has appeared and consulted on media projects including documentary films such as Through A Lens Darkly and Question Bridge: Black Males, a transmedia project, which received the ICP Infinity Award 2015, and American Photography, PBS Documentary.  

Funded by the College of Arts and Sciences Paul R. Jones Initiative, this event is hosted by the Department of English and co-sponsored by the Departments of Africana Studies, Art & Design, Art Conservation, Art History, English, History, the Museum Studies Program & the UD Antiracism Initiative (UDARI).

Professor Willis' lastest book,  The Black Civil War Soldier: A Visual History of Conflict and Citizenship, NYU Press, 2021 is available now.

To learn more about Deborah Willis, visit NYU/Tisch

Deborah Willis - her personal website

Follow Deborah Willis on Instagram

Dr. Will wins CAA Award -  https://www.collegeart.org/programs/awards/writing

Deborah Willis' new book is now available on Amazon!

The Black Civil War Soldier by Deborah Willis

​https://www.amazon.com/Black-Civil-War-Soldier-Citizenship/dp/1479809004

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Paul R. Jones Lecture 2021
  • Interdisciplinary Humanities Research Center
  • 77 East Main St
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • University of Delaware
  • Phone: 443-747-1188
  • ihrc-info@udel.edu