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14. Strange Fruit

Hassan, de Bary, and Finley

(l.) Salah Hassan, (c.) Brett de Bary, (r.) Cheryl Finley

Salah M. Hassan, Africana Studies and Research Center, Brett de Bary, Asian Studies, and Cheryl Finley, History of Art, edited the first special issue of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art implementing the use of a theme that unites effective texts with imagery in order to explore key issues that have defined our concrete and imaginary visuality. The Fall 2006 special issue of Nka, “Strange Fruit: Lynching, Visuality, and Empire,” explored historical acts of lynching, as well as the complex and interrelated processes of recording or representing the events and encountering them through different types of representations. Many questions about how humans make meaning are intricately tied to the subject. With the publication of James Allen’s collection of images in Without Sanctuary (2000) and the book’s traveling exhibition, the history of lynching and its visual representation have become part of the American consciousness again, triggering new scholarly inquiry. The special issue included essays from the proceedings of “Lynching Violence and the Politics of Representation,” a symposium held at Cornell in March 2006. It includes essays by Cornell faculty Walter I. Cohen, Comparative Literature (“Lynching, Visuality, Empire”); Shirley R. Samuels, History of Art (“Death and Photography”); and Robert L. Harris Jr., Africana Studies and Research Center (“Lynching and U.S. History”).

Nka is a biannual publication representing the arts and visual culture of Africa and the African diaspora. The journal received a $100,000 grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Hassan is the journal’s coeditor.

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