Phillip Brian Harper F'06

Phillip Brian Harper
Erich Maria Remarque Professor of Literature
Graduate School of Arts and Science
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

ACLS Fellowship Program 2006
English/Social and Cultural Analysis (Am Stds)
New York University
Once Removed: Abstractionist Aesthetics and African-American Culture beyond Positive Images.

This study proposes the critical urgency of abstractionist aesthetics while at the same time elaborating the means by which abstraction in general has functioned to the detriment of African-American populations. Further, this study underlines the need for a critical reinvigoration of black aesthetic abstractionism, demonstrating the relative impotence of such in African-American visual culture. This study also shows how the common understanding of African-American music in terms of a developmental narrative curtails the putative abstractionism of music, and argues that experimentalist prose constitutes the most potent mode of abstractionist aesthetics available at present.