Jafari Sinclaire Allen Lecture: “Lyle Ashton Harris’ Black Gay 80s: An Anthropology of ‘What is utterly precious’”
Update: This lecture by Dr. Jafari Allen has been rescheduled for Thursday, May 27.
ICA Miami welcomes Dr. Jafari Sinclaire Allen, Director of Africana Studies, and Center for Global Black Studies; and Associate Professor of Anthropology, at the University of Miami, to the Knight Foundation Art + Research Center for a lecture titled “Lyle Ashton Harris’ Black Gay 80s: An Anthropology of ‘What is utterly precious.’” This virtual lecture is free and open to the public with advance RSVP.
The works in Lyle Ashton Harris’ Ektachrome Archive chronicle the “epidemic time” of the long 1980s. Rather than frame the brilliant work and singular artist as “exceptional,” In this lecture, we follow filmmaker Marlon Riggs—lovingly chronicled in Harris’ photographs and journals—who defined this imperative Black gay work as “anthropology… the unending search for what is utterly precious.” The talk follows and attempts to join Harris’ conversations with Riggs and other Black gay contemporaries as they create in the wake of the violent forgetting, loss, and/or purposeful erasure of Black queer folks—the “double cremation” writer Melvin Dixon warned against—exemplifying what was then emerging as a distinct Black gay sociopoetics, or habit of mind.