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Susan Gagliardi on West African Senufo Art

Venue: 219 Encina Hall West, 417 Galvez Mall, Stanford campus.

Host: Africa Table at Stanford's Center for African Studies

Speaker:  Susan Elizabeth Gagliardi is an Assistant Professor of African Art history at Emory University and Distinguished Junior External Fellow, Stanford Humanities Center, Stanford University. She has conducted thirty-three months of fieldwork in West Africa as well as archival and museum-based research in Africa, Europe, and North America. She is author of Senufo Unbound: Dynamics of Art and Identity in West Africa (2015). In “Seeing the Unseen: Arts of Power Associations on the Senufo-Mande Cultural ‘Frontier,’” Gagliardi focuses on dynamic assemblages and masquerades of West African power associations, the region’s great patrons for the arts since at least the end of the nineteenth century. She examines how as specialists with the capacity to heal and to cause harm, power association leaders use the arts to engage audiences, advertise expertise, and attract clients without fully disclosing restricted knowledge.