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The Score as an Object of Displayed Identity: Race-ing the Museum Workshop


In our far from post-racial world, museums are not immune to the pressures of demographic change and urgent new campaigns for racial justice. Famous European museums are altering the titles of art works to eliminate demeaning terms; Confederate monuments are being dismantled in public space and sent to history museums for storage; museums across the U.S. are scrambling to shed their image as bastions of privilege and to diversify their audiences and supporters. Exploring Julius Eastman's racially provocative and vague life, especially the remaining fragmented and nebulous scores scattered throughout personal and private archives, my participation in the museum will investigate the role of the score as an object that has influenced the racial narrative of this composer.

How have museums, as collections and as institutions, created, supported, or challenged constructions of race and racial identity? How are museums and their objects implicated in the history of slavery, indigenous peoples, and race relations? How have museums represented and interpreted these issues? How can and should their collections tell different stories? What can museums do to combat white privilege, and become more diverse in their institutional structures and in their audiences? The workshop will work to confront these and many other pertinent questions through discussion with Carnegie Museum of Art, Natural History, and Science curators.