Thursday, March 31, 2022 1–2 PM EST

This event will be held on Zoom and include live captioning (CART).

Global Abolition and Visual Art: A conversation with Ruth Wilson Gilmore and Shellyne Rodriguez is organized in concert with the exhibitions The Black Index, curated by Bridget R. Cooks (on view at the Leubsdorf Gallery, Feb. 1–April 3, 2022) and No Tears: In Conversation with Horace Pippin (previously on view at The Artist Institute, Nov. 11–Dec. 18, 2021). Following the conversation Brittany Webb, Evelyn and Will Kaplan Curator of Twentieth-Century Art and the John Rhoden Collection at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, will join Ruth Wilson Gilmore and Shellyne Rodriguez for a moderated Q & A.

This program is funded in part by Humanities New York with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Ruth Wilson Gilmore is Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics, and teaches in Earth and Environmental Sciences, American Studies, and Environmental Psychology at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Author of the award-winning Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California (UC Press), her forthcoming books include Change Everything (Haymarket); Abolition Geography: Essays Toward Liberation (Verso); and (co-edited with Paul Gilroy) Stuart Hall: Selected Writings on Race and Difference (Duke). The documentary Racial Capitalism with Ruth Wilson Gilmore features her internationalist political work. She has co-founded many grassroots organizations including California Prison Moratorium Project, Critical Resistance, and the Central California Environmental Justice Network. Gilmore has lectured in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. Recent honors include co-recipient (with Angela Y. Davis and Mike Davis) of the 2020 Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Prize.

Shellyne Rodriguez is an artist, educator, writer, and community organizer based in the Bronx. Her practice utilizes text, drawing, painting, collage, and sculpture to depict spaces and subjects engaged in strategies of survival against erasure and subjugation.

Brittany Webb is the inaugural Evelyn and Will Kaplan Curator of Twentieth-Century Art and the John Rhoden Collection at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA). Webb’s recent exhibitions include the co-curated show Taking Space: Contemporary Women Artists and the Politics of Scale (November 2020–September 5, 2021). Webb is also organizing a major retrospective exhibition and catalogue of the work of the African American sculptor John Rhoden (1916-2001) and stewards a collection of nearly 300 sculptures by Rhoden, leading PAFA’s ongoing effort to place his artworks into the permanent collections of museums around the world. Prior to joining PAFA, Webb was a member of the curatorial staff of the African American Museum in Philadelphia. Dr. Webb holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Temple University and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Southern California.

Images below from left to right:

Titus Kaphar. The Jerome Project (Asphalt and Chalk) XI, 2015. Chalk on asphalt paper. 48 ¼ x 36 13/16 inches. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine, Museum Purchase, Barbara Cooney Porter Fund. ©Titus Kaphar.

Horace Pippin. John Brown Going to His Hanging, 1942. Oil on canvas. 24 1/8 x 30 1/4 inches. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, John Lambert Fund, 1943.


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