John Jennings: "Go Back and Get It"

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A bald black man with a neatly trimmed beard and moustache wears a grey, black, and white houndstooth jacket and a black t shirt. This photo is a professional head shot of artist John Jennings.
John Jennings. Photo by Tarji Stewart of Tarji Michelle Photography
Apr 20, 2023 - 5:30 pm
Lower Level, Auditorium (KAM 62)
Sponsored by the School of Art + Design Visitors Committee and the Frances P. Rohlen Visiting Artists Fund/College of Fine and Applied Arts

Join us for a School of Art & Design Visitors Series talk by award-winning artist and scholar John Jennings (MA '95, MFA '97).

John Jennings is an award-winning artist, visual culture scholar, designer, storyteller and cultural activist.

His work has helped reenvision how Black subjectivity is constructed, viewed and theorized in popular media, fine art, and the academy.

In this talk, Jennings will examine how the West African concept of “sankofa” has been a lens through which his critical making practice, his pedagogy and his community-focused organizing has been centered.

About the Artist

John Jennings is a professor, author, graphic novelist, curator, Harvard Fellow, New York Times Bestseller, 2018 Eisner Winner, and all-around champion of Black culture.

As Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California at Riverside (UCR), Jennings examines the visual culture of race in various media forms including film, illustrated fiction, and comics and graphic novels. He is also the director of Abrams ComicArts imprint Megascope, which publishes graphic novels focused on the experiences of people of color.

His research interests include the visual culture of Hip Hop, Afrofuturism and politics, Visual Literacy, Horror, and the EthnoGothic, and Speculative Design and its applications to visual rhetoric.

Jennings is co-editor of the 2016 Eisner Award-winning collection The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art (Rutgers) and cofounder/organizer of The Schomburg Center’s Black Comic Book Festival in Harlem. He is cofounder and organizer of the MLK NorCal’s Black Comix Arts Festival in San Francisco and also SOL-CON: The Brown and Black Comix Expo at The Ohio State University.


At Krannert Art Museum, Jennings co-reated with Damian Duffy the 2008 exhibition and its exhibition catalogue Out of Sequence: Underrepresented Voices in American Comics.