ACASA Tribute to Polly Nooter Roberts

Friends, by now you may have heard the very sad news: Polly Nooter Roberts has passed. She went peacefully in her sleep the night of September 11-12 after living with stage four metastatic breast cancer (MBC) for more than eight years. She is mother to three and grandmother, daughter of Nancy and Robert H. Nooter, and the loving wife of Dr. Allen Roberts, with whom she regularly forged new research. We extend our deep sympathies to the Nooter and Roberts families.

A recipient of ACASA’s 2017 Leadership Award, Dr. Mary (Polly) Nooter Roberts was a giant in the field of African Arts. She was Professor of World Arts and Cultures at UCLA and Consulting Curator for African Arts at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). She brought a deep appreciation for artistic achievement to her work and great sensitivity to the weight of history on people’s lives. Her brilliant research spanned the continent and its diasporas, but she is best known for concentrated studies of Luba art in the DRC and Sufi arts in Senegal. Institutions and even nations awarded Polly’s ability to translate philosophy, history, and art; strikingly, in 2007 she was decorated as a Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters by the Republic of France for her promotion of francophone African art. She served ACASA as President and brought our Triennial to the island of St. Thomas, our first venue outside of North America, in 2001. The volume and value of her work is so great that it is impossible to summarize here. Her legacy to critical curatorial practice is profound.

Polly lived a life of purpose and was widely known for her generosity. She described her illness as a “detour” in life and saw it as an opportunity for growth. A leader by nature, Polly embraced the opportunity to advance the research of Simms/Mann UCLA Center for Oncology and aid the community of women living with MBC in Los Angeles. She brought the same positive energy to those endeavors that she brought to our wide community.

Polly radiated warmth. She gave each person her undivided attention, respecting the moment that an encounter offers, and she brought out the best in each of us. She was a woman of grace, poise, and elegance. We will miss her.

Fall 2018 newsletter – call for submissions

The Arts Council of the African Studies Association (ACASA) is inviting members to submit items for the Fall 2018 association newsletter.   Items may include announcements for conferences and symposia, calls for papers and proposals, exhibitions, current publications and resources, member news, and upcoming events.  DUE DATE:  COB September 14, 2018.

Note:Candidate Statements for new Board positions will be available in this issue.

Please send all submissions to Deborah Stokes at  Deborah.Stokes@icloud.com or Leslie Rabine at lwrabine@gmail.com.

Categories: ACASACall for Submissions

Keywords: acasa newsletter

CAA Call for Participation in Sessions Soliciting Contributors

CAA has announced a Call for Participation in Sessions Soliciting Contributors for the 2019 Annual Conference. See here for panels that directly mention Africa in the abstract. View the entire CFP here. 250-words abstracts to be sent to the panel chairs by August 6th. All speakers notified by August 30th.

ACASA Triennial 2020: Call for Letters of Interest to Host

Due date: March 15, 2018

The Arts Council of the African Studies Association (ACASA) seeks expressions of interest from members whose institutional contacts can host our Eighteenth Triennial Symposium on African Art in 2020. Institutions can be a university, museum, research center, or other venue appropriate for a conference of about 450 participants. Read more…

Statement from the ACASA Board of Directors

On behalf of our members and in the strongest possible terms, the Board of the Arts Council of the African Studies Association (ACASA) denounces President Donald J. Trump as a racist. His recent profanity directed at Africans and Haitians, well publicized and too grotesque to repeat, is the latest in a long string of racist remarks and actions to which we are vehemently opposed. Our members know well the vast, invaluable contribution that African men and women have made, in the arts and well beyond, throughout human history and the world over. Although we are not surprised that President Trump denigrates Africans – he has fomented racism since he first entered the public eye in the 1970s – this week’s characterization of Africans and Haitians is deeply offensive and needs to be called out. So, too, do we condemn those US elected officials who do not publicly stand opposed to racism and do not denounce President Trump as racist. Silence is compliance. We speak against racism and to those who remain silent since both contradict our mission, which is to facilitate communication about African history and expressive cultures and to promote greater understanding of these worldwide. Finally, this: The global economy from which Americans benefit was built by immigrants including millions violently enslaved and displaced to the Americas, whose forced labor ensured wealth for others. The United States owes much to their indomitable creative spirit since many of its most celebrated forms of artistic expression descend from Africans. We call on all American ACASA members and friends to vote next November 6 for candidates who respect the lives of every person. If you are interested in ACASA but have not yet joined us, please do!

 

ACASA and Radio Univers, University of Ghana-Legon

Silvia Forni, Shannen Hill, Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie, and Kwame Labi interviewed by Mjiba Frehiwot of the University of Ghana-Legon. Broadcast through the university’s radio station, Radio Univers (105.7 FM).

ACASA 17th TRIENNIAL SYMPOSIUM OFFICIAL OPENING ADDRESS

Speech by Professor Kwesi Yankah, Minister of State for Tertiary Education, Ghana

“I am privileged to be invited today to be part of this historic event: the 17th triennial symposium of the Arts Council of the African Studies Association. This being the very first time ACASA is holding a meeting on the African soil, I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of our indefatigable President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo, to welcome ACASA to Ghana, and to the continent of Africa.” Read more…

ACASA Triennial Schedule 2017

The final 2017 ACASA program schedule is now available.

Studio and Gallery Visits, Exhibitions, Receptions, and Tours

Audio & Visual Options for ACASA Symposium Presenters

For symposium presenters, ACASA will provide laptops, projectors, and screens. The use of personal laptops is not advised.

ACASA 17th Triennial Symposium Official Opening Ceremony

Welcome Logistics Information is available here.