Claudia-Rankine-in-new-haven-0618-20150611.Image courtesy Blue Flower Arts

Professor Claudia Rankine, image courtesy Blue Flower Arts

UAL is privileged to welcome eminent Yale University professor Claudia Rankine as she takes up a three week residency Whiteness and the Racial Imaginary at Chelsea College of Arts, UAL from 1-21 June.

Widely regarded as one of today’s most important living poets in the English-speaking world, Professor Rankine is also considered one of the leading commentators on race. Her poetry, essays, art writings, interviews, and articles have been published in numerous journals, newspapers, and magazines, including the New York Times, ELLE magazine, Paris Review, The New Yorker, and The Guardian, among others. Her many awards and fellowships include a 2017 MacArthur Fellowship, a United States Artist Fellowship, and the Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry.

Professor David Crow, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Head of Chelsea College of Arts, UAL, said:

“Professor Claudia Rankine’s TrAIN residency at Chelsea is a major honour for the university. As well as her extraordinary poetry she is renowned as a fearless thinker, and educator. We expect this residency to be highly thought-provoking as we continue to explore our role as a socially engaged art and design school in a global community.”

Hosted by UAL’s Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation (TrAIN) at Chelsea College of Arts, Professor Rankine’s residency is an important landmark for TrAIN and the University as it continues its exploration of the politics of race, diversity, inclusivity and attainment. Tickets have been fully booked for her public lecture on 8th June.

Professor Paul Goodwin, Director of TrAIN, UAL, said:

“TrAIN is thrilled to host Prof Claudia Rankine at Chelsea in June. She is one of the most important creative writers and scholars on questions of race, identity and the ‘everday micro-agressions’ that we need to confront and address in art as much as in life. I have no doubt that her time with us will significantly enrich not only our existing research culture but also inspire further explorations, debates and thinking around these important issues among our student and teaching communities and open up exciting new perspectives in critical art practice.”

In 2016, Rankine co-founded The Racial Imaginary Institute, an interdisciplinary cultural laboratory in which the racial imaginaries of our time and place can be engaged, read, countered, contextualized and demystified. In her book “Citizen, An American Lyric” (2014), Rankine explains that the racial imaginary is concerned not with who has the right to write about race but, rather, with where the desire comes from, and how to detect when race is “taking up residence in the creative act.” The institute collaborates with other collectives, spaces, artists, and organisations that engage the subject of race.

During her residency Professor Rankine will work with students from all disciplines and courses at Chelsea College of Arts including postgraduates students on MA Fine Art and MA Curating and Collections.