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Cherise Smith, Ph.D, Director JES A232A, Mailcode D7200, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-1784

Eddie Chambers

Associate Professor Ph.D., 1998, Goldsmiths College, University of London

Associate Professor of Art and Art History
Eddie Chambers



Associate Professor Eddie Chambers joined the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at Austin in 2010, teaching African Diaspora art history. His education includes a Fine Art (Honours) degree from Sunderland Polytechnic (1983) and in 1998 a Ph.D. in History of Art from Goldsmiths College, University of London, awarded for his thesis ‘Black Visual Arts Activity in England Between 1981 – 1986: Press and Public Responses’.

Since the early 1980s he has been involved in organizing and curating a considerable number of artists' exhibitions. In addition to his exhibition work, he has written extensively about the work of artists in the United Kingdom and other countries, including Australia, Jamaica and the US. His articles and other texts have been widely published in magazines and journals such as Third Text, Visual Culture in Britain, International Review of African American Art, and Wasafiri. He was for nearly two decades a regular contributor to Art Monthly (London). 

A collection of his articles and essays, titled ‘Run Through the Jungle’ was published by the Institute of International Visual Arts (London) as part of its ‘Annotations’ series in 1999. His book 'Things Done Change: The Cultural Politics of Recent Black Artists in Britain' was published by Rodopi Editions, Amsterdam and New York, 2012, as part of its Cross/Cultures – Readings in the Post/Colonial Literatures in English series. His most recent book is ‘Black Artists in British Art: A History Since the 1950s', published by I. B. Tauris, London and New York, 2014. 

Between 2003 and 2009 he was a Visiting Professor, Art History, at Emory University, Atlanta.



African Diaspora, African American, and contemporary African art and visual culture

AFR 374F • Brit Artists Of Afr Diaspora

30379 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm ART 1.120
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This course will look closely at the emergence of Black Britain, through an examination of the visual arts. Since the middle of the 20th century, the demographics of the United Kingdom have altered markedly. Though Black people had been coming to Britain for centuries, it was not until the relatively large scale Caribbean migration of the post-war decades that substantial and tangible 'Black' communities emerged. Thereafter, large parts of Britain were transformed from relatively monocultural 'white' societies to a nation in which the Black presence was as substantial as it was noticeable. The class will examine the work of a wide range of Black British artists, particularly as it relates to the changing face of British society, and the changing nature of the visual arts in Britain. The course will look at the work of painters, sculptors, printmakers, filmmakers and others, in an attempt to explore the ways in which these artists have intervened in debates about race, racism, Britishness, empire, Black identity, and so on.

Artists to be looked at include Eugene Palmer, Keith Piper, Sonia Boyce, Donald Rodney, Tam Joseph, Sokari Douglas Camp, and Vanley Burke.

AFR 374F • 20th-Cen African American Art

30397 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm ART 1.120
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ARH 373E: African-American Artists of the Mid 20th Century.

Unique number, MWF 2-3pm, ART 1.120

Dr. Eddie Chambers

The class will focus on the fascinating work of African-American artists during a half century period of the 20th century that began with the ‘Harlem Renaissance’ of the 1920s and ended with the ‘Black Arts Movement’ of the mid – late 1960s to early to mid 1970s.  The Harlem Renaissance stands as a towering moment of American creativity and will figure prominently in our class syllabus. Our class, African-American Artists of the Mid 20th Century will present and discuss work that is as varied as the practitioners responsible for it. Sculpture, printmaking, painting, figurative, non-figurative, trained, untrained; the variations are almost endless.  The period of time under discussion witnessed hugely important developments of African American history. The ‘Great Migration of people from the south to the northern industrial centers, World War II, the Civil Rights Movement, all these factors and many more have their part to play in the absorbing history of African American artists of the mid 20th century. The work of a number of highly accomplished artists will be considered, from Aaron Douglas and William H. Johnson to Dana Chandler, Elizabeth Catlett, and Faith Ringgold. The class will also seek to put the work of these artists into a variety of the wider political, social and cultural contexts that made the mid 20th century such an important period for African-American people and also for America itself.

AFR 374F • Visual Arts Of The Caribbean

30550 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm DFA 2.506
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Consistently framed, in some quarters, as little more than a holiday destination, the Caribbean is in actuality one of the world’s most fascinating and complex regions. The countries of the Caribbean, at once united and divided by the great expanse of the Caribbean Sea, are home to a wide range of religions, cultures, nationalities, ‘races’, and peoples. Whilst Spanish-speaking Cuba and French-speaking Haiti are in some ways the artistic giants of the region, equal stature can be attached to the biggest English-speaking island of the Caribbean, Jamaica. Together with its neighbors such as Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, and Guyana, the English-speaking Caribbean has produced much of the most dynamic art to come out of the region during the course of the 20th century. This class will look at the work of a fascinating group of modern and contemporary Caribbean artists. The history of the region is a compelling and fascinating one, embracing as it does a variety of factors including the trans-Atlantic slave trade, 20th century patterns of migration and travel, and ‘New World’ sensibilities. This class will examine the work of a range of Caribbean artists whose practice came to the fore over the course of the 20th century, from the 1920s right up to the present time. Artists to be studied include practitioners such as Edna Manley, Barrington Watson, Albert Chong, and artists with substantial links to the Caribbean such as Jean-Michel Basquiat. In addition, the class will critically explore the visual culture of the region, through the mediums of film, documentaries, record sleeves, and tourist imagery. Visual Arts of the English-speaking Caribbean will be invaluable to those students looking to broaden their understanding and familiarity with Caribbean artists, those living within the region and those who have moved away and are now practicing in countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States.

AFR 387D • Visualizing Slavery

30611 • Spring 2012
Meets W 500pm-800pm ART 3.432
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Whilst slavery, in a variety of forms, has existed for millennia, the Atlantic Slave Trade, which saw millions of Africans captured, sold and transported into slavery, was a particularly brutal, systematic and enduring manifestation of bondage and servitude. Spanning several centuries, the Atlantic Slave Trade is remembered and visualized in an astonishingly broad range of ways by an equally astonishing variety of artists, filmmakers, illustrators and others.  This seminar will critically examine the work of modern and contemporary artists, some from the Caribbean, some from countries such as the United Kingdom, and some from the United States that touches on, or explores the issue of slavery. The history of the enslaving of Africans is a compelling and fascinating one, embracing as it does a variety of factors including the trans-Atlantic slave trade itself, as well as subsequent 20th century patterns of migration and travel, ‘New World’ sensibilities and the critically important development of the African Diaspora. These factors, and many others will be explored in the work of artists such as Kara Walker, Godfried Donkor, Tam Joseph, and Mary Evans, artists whose practice came to the fore over the course of the late 20th / early 21st centuries. In addition, the seminar will critically explore the visual culture of the remembering or recasting of slavery, through television dramas such as ‘Roots’, through to mainstream cinematic efforts such as ‘Amistad’ and more recently, ‘Amazing Grace’ about the British abolitionist, William Wilberforce. Through an assortment of mediums such as films, film posters, documentaries, record sleeves, and the covers of trashy ‘pulp fiction’ accounts of slaves, masters and mistresses such as ‘Mandingo’, Visualizing Slavery will be invaluable to those students looking to broaden their understanding and familiarity with not only the Atlantic Slave Trade itself, but as important, the range of ways in which this period of history is remembered and recalled. Surprisingly perhaps, much of the work to be examined in the seminar, particularly that being offered up by artists, not only recalls slavery, but simultaneously has much to say about ongoing human conditions and experiences.

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