Cantor Arts Center Presents 2009
Franklin Symposium for Arts of Africa, Oceania, & the Americas

Contemporary Art from Africa
Saturday, March 21, 10 am - 5 pm

Stanford, California -- The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University presents "Contemporary Art from Africa," the 2009 Ruth K. Franklin Symposium for Arts of Africa, Oceania, & the Americas, on Saturday, March 21, from 10 am until 5 pm. The general public is welcome to the symposium. Admission is free. The symposium includes five distinguished speakers, listed here with the titles of the talks:

  • Barbara Thompson, Phyllis Wattis Curator of the Arts of Africa and the Americas, Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University; "How Did We Get Here / Are We There Yet?"
  • Elizabeth Harney, Associate Professor, Department of Humanities and Graduate Department of Art, University of Toronto; "Between the Modern and the Contemporary?"
  • Sidney Littlefield Kasfir, Professor of African Art History, Art History Department, Emory University; "Swimming Against the Current or Falling Off the Cliff? Ugandan Artists and Their Fragile Connections to a Transculturated and Transitory Artworld"
  • Simon Njami, Independent Curator; "What Is Africa?"
  • Thembinkosi A. Goniwe, Artist and Ph.D. candidate, History of Art Department, Cornell University; "Short Notes: Intimacy, Pleasure, Play . . . Contemporary African Art"

“The symposium is being held at Annenberg Auditorium, Nathan Cummings Art Building, on the Stanford campus. It begins with coffee at 9:30-10 am. Seating is open, with no reservations. For further information, call 650-725-3155 or visit

Ruth Franklin was the first Phyllis Wattis Curator for the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas at the Cantor Arts Center. Franklin's curatorial work significantly strengthened the Cantor Arts Center collection. In 2002, an anonymous donor endowed the Ruth K. Franklin Fund for Lectures and Symposia in the arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. Memorial gifts from numerous donors also supported the Franklin Fund, which makes possible an annual lecture or symposium in perpetuity. The Center presented the first Ruth K. Franklin Symposium in 2003.

This symposium is supported by the Ruth K. Franklin Fund.

GENERAL MUSEUM INFORMATION: Admission is free. The Cantor Arts Center maintains regular visitor hours Wednesday-Sunday, 11 am-5 pm., Thursday until 8 pm. Parking is free on weekends plus weekdays after 4 pm. The Center is located on the Stanford University campus off Palm Drive. Call 650-723-4177 or visit the Center's Web site at for directions, parking instructions and information about events, free tours, and exhibitions in the Center's 24 galleries.

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Media Contact: Margaret Whitehorn, PR Asst. Manager
Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, 650-724-3600,

Franklin SymposiumLalla Essaydi, Converging Territories #31, 2005. C41 print mounted on aluminum with UV laminate. Cantor Arts Center museum purchase made possible by the Elizabeth K. Raymond Fund