Monday, November 3, 2008, 5:30 p.m. Paley Library Lecture Hall Join the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection of Temple University Libraries in welcoming authors and artists Deb Willis and Hank Willis Thomas. Both authors will sign copies of their latest books–Obama: The Historic Campaign in Photographs (Dr. Deb Willis) and Pitch Blackness (Hank Willis Thomas).
Deb Willis is the Chair of the Photography Department at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Dr. Willis also holds an affiliated appointment with the College of Arts and Sciences in Africana Studies at NYU. She has pursued a dual professional career as an art photographer and as one of the nation’s leading historians of African American photography and curator of African American culture. Her awards, exhibitions and publications are many, but highlights include: a 2005 Guggenheim Fellowship and Fletcher Fellowship, a 2000 MacArthur Fellowship, she was also the 1996 recipient of the Anonymous Was a Woman Foundation award. Other notable projects include: The Black Female Body A Photographic History with Carla Williams (Temple University Press, Philadephia, 2002); A Small Nation of People: W.E.B. DuBois and the Photographs from the Paris Exposition (Amistad Press, 2003); Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers – 1840 to the Present (New York: W.W. Norton); Visual Journal: Photography in Harlem and DC in the Thirties and Forties (Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, 1996); Picturing Us: African American Identity in Photography (The New Press, New York, NY, 1994); and VANDERZEE: The Portraits of James VanDerZee (Harry Abrams Publishing, New York, NY, 1993). Dr. Willis will be signing copies of her latest book, Obama: The Historic Campaign in Photographs. Through 150 striking color photographs, Obama: The Historic Campaign in Photographs charts the road to Barack Obama’s nomination as the first African American to lead the presidential ticket of a major party.
Hank Willis Thomas received his BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and his MFA in photography, along with an MA in visual criticism‚ from the California College of the Arts, San Francisco. He has exhibited in galleries and museums, including the Studio Museum in Harlem; Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut; Leica Gallery, New York; and National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C. Willis Thomas is the first recipient of the Aperture West Book Prize, a new annual prize for artists living west of the Mississippi. He lives in Oakland, California. He will be signing copies of his latest book, Pitch Blackness.