Huey Copeland Affiliated Faculty, Associate Dean, Academic Affairs, The Graduate School, Associate Professor of Art History

Huey Copeland is Associate Professor of Art History with affiliations in the Department of African American Studies and the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies. His work focuses on modern and contemporary art with emphases on the articulation of blackness in the Western visual field and the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality within global aesthetic practice. A regular contributor to Artforum, Copeland has also published in Art JournalCallaloo, ParkettQui Parle,Representations, and Small Axe as well as in numerous exhibitions catalogues and edited volumes, including the award-winning Modern Women: Women Artists at the Museum of Modern Art edited by Cornelia Butler and Alexandra Schwartz.

Most notable among Copeland’s forthcoming publications is Bound to Appear: Art, Slavery, and the Site of Blackness in Multicultural America, a book funded by a University Research Grants Committee Subvention and a Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program Grant that will be published by the University of Chicago Press in Fall 2013. Focused on the work of Renée Green, Glenn Ligon, Lorna Simpson, and Fred Wilson, this project considers how slavery shaped American art in the last decades of the twentieth century in order to argue for a reorientation of modern and contemporary art history where the subject of race is concerned. The book, like much of Copeland’s work, derives from research into theories of subject formation, twentieth-century sculpture, histories of slavery, gender and sexual difference, site-specific practices, and African American cultural discourse. These interests are also reflected in his interdisciplinary course offerings, which range from the graduate seminar “Afrotropes,” co-taught with Krista Thompson, to an introductory survey of global modernisms.

Alongside his work as a teacher, critic, and scholar, Copeland has co-curated exhibitions such as Interstellar Low Ways at the Hyde Park Art Center (with Anthony Elms) and co-edited journal volumes such as the upcoming Nka special issue “Black Collectivities” (with Naomi Beckwith). An alumnus of the 2003 Whitney Independent Study Program and the 2013 Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism, he has also received support from the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center for American Modernism, the Program of African Studies, the Terra Foundation for American Art, and the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. During his academic leave in 2013-14, Copeland will continue to work on a new book, In the Arms of the Negress: A Brief History of Modern Artistic Practice, which explores the constitutive role played by fictions of black womanhood in Western art from the nineteenth century to the present.

Courses Taught

  • "Black Masculinities in Contemporary American Art"