An academic talk followed by a light dinner.
Amber Musser's (George Washington Univ) talk works through Mickalene Thomas’s Origin of the Universe, a version of Gustave Courbet’s Origin of the World that positions her black bedazzled vulva in place of an anonymous white model’s genitalia. In Thomas’ production of a decorative and intimate landscape, she argues that Thomas portrays Audre Lorde’s theories of the erotic as feminine and maternal. In this way, Thomas shows us the racialized contours of black queer female sexuality and illuminates through her use of the rhinestone how an attachment to surface and its excesses might redraw eroticism.
Dr. Musser has published widely on race and critical theory, queer femininities and race, race and sexuality, and queer of color critique. She has an MSt in Women’s Studies from Oxford University and received her PhD in History of Science from Harvard University. She has held fellowships at New York University’s Draper Program in Gender Studies and Brown University’s Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women. Her research has been supported by grants from the Ruth Landes Memorial Fellowship and the Arts Writers’ Grant from the Warhol Foundation. She previously taught gender studies at New York University and Washington University in St. Louis. She also writes art criticism for The Brooklyn Rail.