Defetishing Material Culture in Museums: Public Education with Vanicéla Silva-Santos
3401 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
This lecture is presented by the Center of Africana Studies and is part of their Africa Lecture Series.
Public educational institutions like museums must correct mistaken views about Africa and Africans. This lecture addresses the history of removing material culture from Africa and the process of naming objects through the lenses of art dealers. Through the archival documents and the materiality of some objects, Vanicléia Silva-Santos will highlight the need to decolonize the narratives and vocabularies used to describe the objects in the collection. She will also ask about the possibility of Defetishizing Material Culture in Museums. How do we change the representation of Black people in museums? And how do we change the idea of fetishism by promoting a more critical and liberating public education?
Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania is comprised of two entities—the Department of Africana Studies and the Center for Africana Studies—each with distinct, yet complementary function. The Department oversees undergraduate and graduate teaching, including an undergraduate major and minor and a graduate certificate and doctoral program. The Center provides an array of public programming and research projects. Both the Department and the Center focus on the experiences and history of African American, African, and African-descended peoples as a model for global black studies.