Atlantic World Arts Creative Symposium: Collision, Fusion, Re-Vision, Sept. 7-9

The Atlantic Rim has, since the first Columbian contact, been a great cauldron of artistic exchange and creativity: from the poetic “Tenth Muses” of Anne Bradstreet and Sor Juana de la Cruz “sprung up in America,” to the African-American dances of Josephine Baker in Paris; from the Scotch-Irish fiddlers of Appalachia, to the Art Nouveau splendors of Buenos Aires; from the symphonic jazz of Gershwin, to Picasso’s use of African Fang masks; and from hundreds of Shakespeare festivals across the U. S., to film noir, a quintessentially American genre with a French name. Our Atlantic World Arts conference will bring together varied scholars, artists, and performers from across campus and around the U. S. and the Atlantic.

Celebrating UNCG’s newly configured College of Visual and Performing Arts and Greensboro’s third hosting of the National Folk Festival, we will explore how the music, dance, drama, literature, cinema, and visual arts of Europe, Africa, and the Americas have collided, combined, and re-birthed new and hybrid forms—whether through colonial importation and naturalization, indigenous survivals and imitations, Modern primitivist appropriations, or post-colonial irony. Through keynoters representing varied arts from different continents; campus and community performances and exhibits; and expert panels and paper sessions which bring together multiple disciplines addressing common topics—Atlantic World Arts will explore the relations between concepts of place, time, power, identity, and beauty across and around Columbus’s Ocean Sea.

Schedule of Events

Thursday, September 7, 7 pm, EUC Auditorium

Gaelic concert–Fiona Ritchie of NPR’s “The Thistle and Shamrock,” Swannanoa Gathering founder Dr. Doug Orr (President Emeritus, Warren Wilson College; Chancellor Emeritus, UNC Asheville), and Scottish Gaelic singers from Nova Scotia, Mary Jane Lamond and Wendy MacIsaac

Friday, September 8, 10 am, EUC Maple Room

Keynote Address–Dr. Jeff Titon of Brown University, “Rev. C. L. Franklin and the Black Atlantic,” featuring rare video of Aretha Franklin’s preacher father

Friday, September 8, 2:15 pm, Weatherspoon Auditorium

Keynote Address–Dr. Candace Keller (Associate Professor of African Art, Art History, and Visual Culture, Michigan State University), “Transcultural Visions: International Fashion & West African Portraiture

For further details, see

*UNCG faculty, staff, and students will have free admission to all concerts, presentations, panels, performances, and exhibitions.*


Co-sponsored by the National Folk Festival, Atlantic World Research Network, The Office of the UNCG Provost; The College of Visual and Performing Arts; The College of Arts and Sciences; The Weatherspoon Art Museum; The Department of Art; The Creative Writing Program in the Department of English; ArtsGreensboro/17Days, HNAC