From Frederick Douglass to Angela Davis, “natural hair” has been associated with the Black freedom struggle. In New Growth Jasmine Nichole Cobb traces the history of Afro-textured coiffure, exploring it as a visual material through which to reimagine the sensual experience of Blackness. Through close readings of slave narratives, scrapbooks, travel illustrations, documentary films, and photography as well as collage, craft, and sculpture, from the nineteenth century to the present, Cobb shows how the racial… read more about New Growth: The Art and Texture of Black Hair »

“This is the photo that launched a thousand ships — and the book,” Gennifer Weisenfeld shares as she taps the front cover of her latest publication, “Gas Mask Nation: Visualizing Civil Air Defense in Wartime Japan.” The book’s cover photo, “Gas Mask Parade, Tokyo (Gasu Masuku Kōshin, Tōkyō),” was taken in 1936 by the modernist Japanese photographer Horino Masao. His black-and-white image captures a never-ending procession of schoolgirls, dressed in a standard uniform of white long-sleeve shirt and dark jumper, as they… read more about Preparing for War from the Air: “Gas Mask Nation” Explores Japan’s Wartime Air Defense Campaigns »

To strengthen the role of the arts at the university and to attract nationally and internationally known artists to the faculty, Duke should establish a new tenure track for visual and performing artists, a faculty committee reported to the Academic Council Thursday. The special pathway in the report would be part of the university’s normal appointments, promotions and tenure (APT) process and would allow for appointments (external or internal) of tenured full professor or professor of the practice to attract the most… read more about Academic Council Considers Tenure Pathway for Creative Artists »

Traditionally, the arts and sciences have been viewed as two distinct fields of study, disconnected and distant to each other. But it isn’t uncommon to see Duke students who have defined paths in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) also majoring or minoring in the performing and visual arts — adding these disciplines to not only their course loads but also their career goals.   Annika Allado is a Mechanical Engineering major who is also pursuing a minor in Visual Arts with the Department of Art,… read more about Visual Arts Helping to Create a More Empathetic and Insightful Engineer »

The Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies’ 40-page Year in Review is a compilation of the 18 e-newsletters (NewsByte) sent out during the 2021-22 academic year detailing the Department’s activities and achievements. NewsByte was mined, collated, and re-edited to form a comprehensive review of the past year in the life of the Department. It was also re-designed as its own publication and is made available now as a downloadable PDF from the Department’s website. In addition to… read more about 2021-22 Year in Review »

Long winter nights make for good reads. Duke publications from the fall and winter include attractions for readers of many interests.  For history buffs, there's new history of the American West and a timely assessment of economic sanctions. For politicos, there's a blueprint for protecting democracy and a study of the contributions of migrants to various cultures. Movie fans can read about the history of Asians in theater and cinema and a surprising look at the politics of Marvel movies. Many of the books, including new… read more about Warm Up With Winter Books From Duke Authors »

The Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies at Duke University invites candidates to apply for the following faculty positions: assistant professor of the practice in Geospatial Digital Art History, assistant professor of the practice in Cinematic Arts, and a tenure-track faculty position in Modern Art History at the assistant professor level. Detailed descriptions of each position, required application materials, application process, and deadlines can be found via the following links: Assistant… read more about 3 Faculty Job Searches »

“My freshman year at Davidson College I was mistakenly placed in an Islamic art class,” Lyla Halsted confesses. She wanted to be a classics major, but Halsted, whose mother is Iranian, found a familiarity with the language and culture covered in her accidental class. She stayed with it and eventually earned her B.A. in art history. Following an M.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, the North Carolinian has returned home to teach at Duke… read more about Lyla Halsted Is Opening Eyes to Medieval Islamic Art and Architecture »

Dore Bowen comes from a family firmly rooted in science. Her father was a radiologist, and Bowen remembers how excited and intrigued he’d become with each technological breakthrough. Bowen has inherited that love of science and technology, but in her own interdisciplinary way. A research professor with the Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies (AAHVS), Bowen began her art studies analyzing photography and conceptual art during the experimental Fluxus movement. Coined by its “founder” George Maciunas,… read more about Dore Bowen: Studying Immersive Experiences as Art »

Few college students would volunteer to spend a Sunday afternoon in a graveyard, but members of the Fieldwork Methods class in the Department of Cultural Anthropology arranged this trip themselves. They are in Wilmington, North Carolina, visiting the sites of one of the darkest events in the state’s history: the white supremacist coup that destroyed the city’s prosperous Black community in 1898. Their class is part of America’s Hallowed Ground, a multi-year project developed by professor Charlie Thompson and actor and… read more about Cultural Anthropology Students Learn From a Buried Past »