Antiblackness and Late Capitalist Aesthetic Production, 1970s-present


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


History of Art and African-American Studies


This dissertation analyzes how capitalism and antiblackness have shaped art and media since the 1970s. Examining photography studios, film, video, advertising and Internet memes, it approaches the image as a site of perceptual capture structured by asymmetries of race and capital. The project contextualizes this problematic within a period often referred to as “late capitalism” in order to describe how it takes root in hegemonic practices of visual production and mediation. Through this analysis, this project offers a theoretical and historical account of how a particular form of racial power—antiblackness—frames black people as both aesthetically consumable and productive of value. Rather than understanding racist visuality through its many conventions of negative representation, this study explores how racial antagonism underwrites the terms of the visual itself and thereby shapes its role in contemporary capitalism.