Past Symposium: Fall 2013

War and Race
Friday, September 27, 2013
1:30 to 5:30 p.m., with reception to follow
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Auditorium
500 17th Street NW, Washington DC

Wars have been fought over racial hatred, mistrust, and misunderstanding, but wars have also put received notions of race under unusual pressure. This symposium brings together scholars from three fields to consider how the violence and upheaval of modern warfare–whether in combat or on the home front–have affected the construction and understanding of racial categories.

Scheduled to coincide with the Corcoran’s exhibition “War/Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and its Aftermath,” the symposium addresses such topics as photographs of African Americans during the Civil War, the remaking of segregation during World War II, and the role of race in the recent global “war on terror.”


“Neither Slave Nor Free: African Americans in Civil War Art”
Makeda Best
Assistant Professor, Visual Studies, California College of the Arts

“Raising a Military in Black and White: America’s World War II Draft and the Making of Race”
Thomas Guglielmo
Associate Professor, American Studies, The George Washington University

“Yellowface and Purple Hearts: Racializing Torture in American Culture”
Sylvia Shin Huey Chong
Associate Professor, English and American Studies, University of Virginia


Bibiana Obler
Assistant Professor, Department of Fine Arts & Art History, George Washington University