ATLANTA—Distinguished University Professor Dr. Alessandra Raengo of the School of Film, Media & Theatre is the recipient of the prestigious 2022-23 Paul Mellon Senior Fellowship from the Center for the Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
The Paul Mellon Fellowship is awarded each academic year to one individual to support research in the history, theory and criticism of the visual arts (painting, sculpture, architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism, prints and drawings, film, photography, decorative arts, industrial design and other arts) of any geographical area and of any period.
This fall, Dr. Raengo will be in Washington to focus her scholarship and research on “Liquid Blackness in Contemporary Visual Arts: Black Study as Aesthetic Practice.” The research builds on the archival/critical practice of the liquid blackness research group and liquid blackness: journal of aesthetics and black studies and on their founding gesture of thinking about blackness through/as aesthetics. The liquid blackness website is archived at the Library of Congress for “its cultural and historical significance.”
“I am deeply honored to be a recipient of the prestigious Paul Mellon Senior Fellowship at the Center for the Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.,” said Dr. Raengo. “I am looking forward to being in conversation with current fellows and professors whose work has deeply impacted my own, as well as with the self-determined communities of black filmmakers and visual artists in the D.C. and Baltimore areas whose ensemblic praxis is at the vanguard of both aesthetic theory and practice.”
Dr. Raengo, who was recently named Distinguished University Professor, is the founding editor in chief of the liquid blackness: journal of aesthetics and black studies, which began publishing with Duke University Press in 2021. The journal is an outgrowth of the liquid blackness research group and journal she established in 2013 in the Moving Images Studies doctoral program; both are devoted to the study of the radical aesthetic possibilities of the visual and sonic arts of the Black diaspora. Under her leadership, “liquid blackness” developed into a multi-pronged project: a theoretical concept, a methodology, a pedagogy, an archival project, a digital humanities initiative archived at the Library of Congress, a curatorial practice and a praxis of community-building.
“Congratulations to Dr. Raengo on this important award,” said Director Greg Smith of the School of Film, Media & Theatre. “The Mellon Senior Fellowship is both a recognition of high scholarly achievement in the visual arts and an exciting opportunity to work with other senior scholars advancing the history, theory and criticism of art.”
Senior fellowships are for full-time research. Scholars are expected to reside in Washington and to participate in the activities of the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts throughout the fellowship period. Lectures, colloquia, and informal discussions complement the fellowship program.
Senior fellows have access to the notable resources represented by the art collections, the library, and the image collections of the National Gallery of Art, as well as to the Library of Congress and other specialized research libraries and collections in the Washington area. For more information, visit the National Gallery of Art Senior Fellowship Program.