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Open Access Dissertation
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
Lisa Gail Collins
African American Studies | American Art and Architecture | American Material Culture | Art Practice | Fine Arts | Other History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology | Women's Studies
WE ARE ROSES FROM OUR MOTHERS’ GARDENS: BLACK FEMINIST VISUALITY IN AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN’S ART
KELLI MORGAN, B.A., WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY
M.A., UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST
Ph.D., UNIVERISTY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST
Directed by: Professor Manisha Sinha
We Are Roses From Our Mothers' Gardens posits that in differing historical periods African American women visual artists employed various media and create from individual political thoughts, intellectual views, and aesthetic interests to emphasize the innate unification of a Black woman’s race, gender, sexuality, class, and selfhood and how this multifaceted dynamic of Black women’s identity and material reality produces a unique, multilayered form of oppression experienced only by Black women. Their diverse expressions of multilayered, figurative works acknowledge and address how the synthesis of racism, sexism, and patriarchy has been both mercurial and fixed throughout Black women’s existence in the United States. Thus, the dissertation argues that multilayered, figurative works of art by African American women artists are connected across time through Black feminist visuality, a creative imaging of Black women’s self-making, autonomy, subjectivity, and personal empowerment that allows them to transcend the distorted, mythological constructions of Black female identity concretized within western visual culture as it reveals the functions of western culture’s racist visuality and rejects its subjugation of Black women’s identity formation. Its sub-theory of visible-aggregation illustrates how Black feminist visuality exists among African American women artists as a shared self-defined standpoint of representing Black women’s identity and material reality in western visual art. Through a close reading of works by Sojourner Truth, Edmonia Lewis, Elizabeth Catlett, and Kara Walker the project demonstrates how African American women artists utilize visible-aggregation to express Black feminist visuality through multilayered, figurative art forms that exist as optical illustrations of Black feminism in the western visual realm.
Morgan, Kelli, "We Are Roses From Our Mothers' Gardens: Black Feminist Visuality in African American Women's Art" (2017). Doctoral Dissertations. 1060.
African American Studies Commons, American Art and Architecture Commons, American Material Culture Commons, Art Practice Commons, Fine Arts Commons, Other History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology Commons, Women's Studies Commons