Connecticut Harper Lecture with Cécile Fromont

Five Centuries of Art and History in the Congo

What can a close look at the artistic treasures from the Congo reveal about the history of globalization since the era of the great discoveries? Using masterworks of visual and material culture to explore 500 years of central Africa’s history, art historian Cécile Fromont outlines the rich political, religious, and artistic trajectory of this exceptionally well-documented region and the perspective it offers on the making of the early modern and modern world. Key artworks, put into their broader context, reveal the major role the Congo played in globalization, from the early modern period to the rise, apex, and unravelling of the colonial era from the late 19th to the late 20th century.

Event Details

2:00p.m. Registration and networking
2:30p.m. Presentation and discussion
3:30p.m. Reception

$10/recent graduate (College alumni of the past 10 years and graduate alumni of the past five years)
Free for Class of 2015 UChicago alumni
Two complimentary registrations for members of the Chicago, Harper, Phoenix, Medical and Biological Alumni Leadership Societies

Online registration for the event has now closed. We will be accepting walk-in registrations at the event.

  Featured Faculty

Cécile Fromont is an assistant professor of art history and the College and is affiliated with the Center for Latin American Studies; the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture; and African Studies at the University of Chicago. Her research interests focus on Africa and Brazil and include the relationship between artistic form and religious thought, the visual syntax of belief systems, and cross-cultural translation by visual means. Her book The Art of Conversion: Christian Visual Culture in the Kingdom of Kongo has won a number of awards, including the 2015 Albert J. Raboteau Book Prize for the Best Book in Africana Religions.
 Buy The Art of Conversion. A limited number of copies will be available for purchase at the lecture. To learn more, read Fromont’s article “Dance, Image, Myth, and Conversion in the Kingdom of Kongo, 1500–1800” or visit her website.

Event Contact
Mary Kovacs
Staff Liaison
Jen Lenard-Benson