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Striking Iron: An Interdisciplinary Symposium

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Fowler Museum

308 Charles E Young Drive North

Los Angeles, CA 90024

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This two-part symposium explores iron in the context of its history, spiritual potencies, cultural roles and meanings, and artistic possibilities in Africa and its Diasporas. On Friday night, acclaimed visual artists Sokari Douglas Camp and Alison Saar talk about the centrality of metal to their artistic practices, followed by a conversation moderated by Fowler Museum Director Marla C. Berns. Saturday’s sessions feature an interdisciplinary range of distinguished speakers, including astronomer and director of the Griffith Observatory Ed Krupp, archaeologist Shadreck Chirikure, artist Tom Joyce, historians Candice Goucher and Colleen Kriger, art historian Rowland Abiodun, and anthropologist Ade Ofunniyin.

Gallery Talk | Friday November 9, 12 PM: Guest co-curator Philip M. Peek, discusses the small bronze ofo in the exhibition Summoning the Ancestors: Southern Nigerian Bronzes.

FRIDAY NOVEMBER 9, 7PM

Keynote Presentation
Artist talks by Sokari Douglas Camp and Alison Saar
Followed by a conversation moderated by Marla C. Berns


SATURDAY NOVEMBER 10, 9:30AM–6PM

9:30AM
Coffee reception in the UCLA Art Council Amphitheatre

10AM
Welcome/Opening Remarks

10:15AM–12PM
Session 1: Africa’s Iron Origins
“Heavy Metal: Hammering Iron out of the Sky”
Ed Krupp, Director, Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles

“Archaeological Evidence for Iron’s Independent Invention in Africa: Empirically Proven or Red Herring?”
Shadreck Chirikure, Senior Lecturer, Archaeology, University of Cape Town

“The Scabbard Only Embellishes, the Sword Never Feels Cold”
Rowland Abiodun, John C. Newton Professor of Art, the History of Art, and Black Studies, Amherst College

12–1:45PM
Lunch Break, Film Screening, and Exhibition Viewing

2–3PM
Session 2: Iron and the African Diaspora
“Forging the History of Iron in the Atlantic World”
Candice Goucher, Professor, History, Washington State University, Vancouver

“Memory and Public Culture: The Making of an African American Icon in Charleston, South Carolina”
Ade Ofunniyin, Adjunct Professor, Anthropology, African American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies, College of Charleston

3–3:15PM
Break

3:15–4:15PM
Session 3: Forging Identities
“Forging History and Memory in Central Africa”
Colleen Kriger, Professor, History, University of North Carolina, Greensboro

4:15 PM
Artist Talk by Tom Joyce: Lingua-Ferrum

5–6PM
Reception

About the Exhibition
Striking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths (June 3–December 30, 2018)

Striking Iron is a major international traveling exhibition that reveals the history of invention and technical sophistication that led African blacksmiths to transform one of Earth’s most basic natural resources into objects of life-changing utility, empowerment, and astonishing artistry.



Parking
UCLA Lot 4, 398 Westwood Plaza, directly off Sunset Blvd | $12/day.
Ride share drop-off 305 Royce Drive.

Hotel Accommodations
Nearby Hotel Angeleno is offering a special rate for Symposium attendees at $179/night, parking included. Click here or call 866-264-3536 and reference UCLA Fowler Symposium.



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Fowler Museum

308 Charles E Young Drive North

Los Angeles, CA 90024

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