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Reframing Photography and Education: Dipti Desai, Lorie Novak, and Deb Willis

  • Magnum Foundation 59 East 4th Street New York United States (map)
Image of a project development exercise featuring a project by Sol Aramendi

Image of a project development exercise featuring a project by Sol Aramendi

Join us for an evening conversation on creative educational practice with three esteemed artists and educators: Dipti Desai, Lorie Novak, and Deb Willis.

Looking at exemplary projects, we'll explore visual strategies in traditional or alternative learning spaces; how the classroom can be a space for activism and radical imagery; and what photo education needs now. Dipti, Lorie, and Deb will also share resources and offer advice on developing educational applications for photography.

Dipti Desai is Associate Professor and Director of the Graduate Art + Education Programs at New York University, USA. As a scholar and artist-educator her work addresses the intersection between visual art, activism, and critical pedagogy. She has published widely in the area of critical multiculturalism/critical race theory in art education, contemporary art as a pedagogical site, critical pedagogy and artistic activism. She is the co-editor of Social Justice and the Arts book published by Taylor and Francis and her co-authored book History as Art, Art as History: Contemporary Art and Social Studies Education received an Honorable mention for Curriculum Practice Category by Division B of American Education and Research Association (AERA). Among her awards, she received the Studies Lecture Award for scholarly contribution to art education, Specialist Fulbright Award and the Ziegfield Service Award for contribution to International Art Education. Her most recent project entailed curating a special issue on artistic activism for the journal, Visual Inquiry: Learning and Teaching Art (2017).

Lorie Novak is an New York City based artist whose photographs, installations, and Internet projects use various technologies of representation to explore issues of memory and transmission, the relationship between the intimate and the public, and the shifting cultural meanings of photographs. She is Professor of Photography & Imaging at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University and Associate Faculty at The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. She is also Director and Founder of Future Imagemakers a social practice project at NYU Photography & Imaging, offering free digital photography classes to NYC area high school students. Her work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions, is included in many Museum permanenet collections, and she is the recipient of a 2016 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Photography among many other awards. Novak’s collaborative Web project collectedvisions.net, 1996-present, exploring how family photographs shape our memory was one of the earliest interactive storytelling sites. More information at www.lorienovak.com and Instagram @lorie.novak @migraineregister @futureimagemakers.

Deb Willis, Ph.D, is University Professor and Chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and has an affiliated appointment with the College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Social & Cultural Analysis, Africana Studies, where she teaches courses on Photography & Imaging, iconicity, and cultural histories visualizing the black body, women, and gender. She is Director of the NYU Institute of African American Affairs and Center for Black Visual Culture. Her research examines photography’s multifaceted histories, visual culture, the photographic history of Slavery and Emancipation; contemporary women photographers and beauty. She received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. Willis is the author of Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present; and co-author of The Black Female Body A Photographic History; Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery; and Michelle Obama: The First Lady in Photographs (both titles a NAACP Image Award Winner). Professor Willis’s curated exhibitions include: "In Pursuit of Beauty" at Express Newark; "Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits” at the International Center of Photography and "Reframing Beauty: Intimate Moments" at Indiana University. Since 2006 she has co-organized thematic conferences exploring imaging the black body in the West such as the conference titled Black Portraiture[s], soon to be held in NYC in October 2019. She has appeared and consulted on media projects including documentary films such as Through A Lens Darkly and Question Bridge: Black Males, a transmedia project, which received the ICP Infinity Award 2015, and American Photography, PBS Documentary.