Tag Article List: critical race theory

Visuality of Race in Popular Culture: Teaching Racial Histories and Iconography in Media

Joni Boyd Acuff
The Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio, USA
Acuff.12@osu.edu

Amelia M. Kraehe
University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona USA
akraehe@arizona.edu

Abstract

The repetition of racist imagery from historical to contemporary popular culture is indicative of a lack of visual culture education among artists, designers, and other creative cultural producers working today. This paper addresses the dearth of resources for teaching visual codes and conventions of racial iconography that are recycled in popular media and contribute to the fabrication of racial differences, maintenance of racial hierarchies, and normalization of white supremacist ideology. Inspired by Critical Race Theory in art and visual culture education, the essay proposes teaching tactics and sites/sights that can support students in developing visual understandings of race in popular culture and the practices of racialized looking it invites. Because popular culture is contested terrain, students can learn to be race-conscious consumers of popular culture today. A deeper awareness of visual codes and conventions can foster critical interpretations and creative responses to popular racial constructions. We suggest key vocabulary for scaffolding dialogue and counter-visual strategies for deconstructing racial images and practices of looking. 

Keywords: race, representation, popular culture, art, visual culture, racial literacy, critical race theory

Author(s) Bio

Joni Boyd Acuff, PhD is currently Associate Professor of Arts Administration, Education and Policy at The Ohio State University. Her research attends to critical multiculturalism, critical race theory, Black feminist theory, and culturally responsive pedagogy, teaching and curriculum development in art education. Acuff is co-editor of Multiculturalism in Art Museums Today, published by Rowman & Littlefield. She is the co-author, alongside Amelia M. Kraehe, of the forthcoming Davis publication, Race and Art Education. For more about Acuff and her research, visit https://aaep.osu.edu/people/acuff.12

Amelia M. Kraehe, PhD is currently Associate Professor of Art and Visual Culture Education at The University of Arizona. She researches and teaches about social justice in education, the arts and creative forms of agency, racism and intersectional processes of self-identification. Kraehe is co-editor of Pedagogies in the Flesh: Case Studies on the Embodiment of Sociocultural Differences in Education and The Palgrave Handbook of Race and the Arts in Education. Her current book, titled Race and Art Education and also co-authored with Joni Boyd Acuff, is forthcoming from Davis Publications. For more about Kraehe and her research, visit https://art.arizona.edu/people/directory/akraehe/

Suggested Citation 

APA
Acuff, J. B., Kraehe, A. M. (2020). Visuality of Race in Popular Culture: Teaching Racial Histories and Iconography in Media. Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy, 7(3). http://journaldialogue.org/issues/v7-issue-3/visuality-of-race-in-popular-culture-teaching-racial-histories-and-iconography-in-media/

MLA
Acuff, J and A Kraehe. Visuality of Race in Popular Culture: Teaching Racial Histories and Iconography in Media. Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy, vol. 7, no. 3, 2020. http://journaldialogue.org/issues/v7-issue-3/visuality-of-race-in-popular-culture-teaching-racial-histories-and-iconography-in-media/

Download as PDF