Isaac Julien's Lessons of the Hour - Frederick Douglass Publication

February 1, 2022

Isaac Julien's latest publication Lessons of the Hour - Frederick Douglass has come out!

Lessons of the Hour — Frederick Douglass was conceived as an artwork, with sumptuously illustrated pages that depict both Isaac Julien’s artworks and the archival images, some of which have never been printed in a book before.

Lessons of the Hour — Frederick Douglass is also a reader, and it features a range of essays by the most prominent scholars on Frederick Douglass, photography, art history, cultural studies, race and gender studies: Celeste-Marie Bernier, professor at the University of Edinburgh and author of numerous books on Douglass who worked closely with Isaac Julien on Lessons of the Hour artwork; Paul Gilroy, author of The Black Atlantic and the winner of the 2019 Holberg Prize for his outstanding contributions to humanities; Vron Ware, photographer and academic, author of Beyond the Pale and numerous other publications on racism and feminism; the world renowned Henry Louis Gates Jr., from Harvard University, the pre-eminent Douglass scholar and art historian; film scholars Kass Banning and Warren Crichlow, who have followed Isaac’s work since the mid-eighties, write about the aesthetics of the film installation; Susan Solt, distinguished professor and former dean of the University of California, Santa Cruz, writes about Frederick Douglass’ relationship to language, Shakespeare and Othello; visual artist and historian of photography Deborah Willis created three special inserts throughout the book dedicated to nineteenth century African American photographer James Presley Ball, Douglass’ relationship to photography and his aesthetic theory; John Hanhardt, the most important American film and video curator remembers the inception of the work and its curatorial beginnings; Jonathan Binstock, the work’s commissioner for the Memorial Art Gallery at University of Rochester reflects upon Douglass’ relationship to Rochester; Frederick Douglass's great-great-great grandson, Kenneth B. Morris, Jr. made an incredibly moving text for the preface of the book; and the book concludes with an extensive interview that Jennifer González, a professor at University of California, Santa Cruz and theorist of contemporary art made with Isaac Julien.

The book is edited by Isaac Julien and Cora Gilroy-Ware, with Vladimir Seput, and it can be purchased through DelMonico Books and all the other major retailers.

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