Jody Berman

Jody Berman

  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History
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    Professor Jody Berman is a visiting assistant professor of art history at Carthage College and an adjunct professor of art history at DePaul University. She received her M.A. in art history with a specialization in African art, and her Ph.D. in American art with a specialization in African American art from the University of Florida.

    With her late friend and colleague Professor Ade Ofunniyin, she co-wrote the essay “Philip Simmons and Yaw Owusu Shangofemi: African influence in the work of two master blacksmiths.” This essay was published in 2020 in the book “Peace, Power and Prestige: Metal Arts in Africa.”

    She is working on her forthcoming book “Laughing Til’ It Hurts: Racism, Humor and the Burden of Representation.” This project is a historically grounded study in artistic vision and the ways in which humor has been utilized as a strategy for black liberation.

    Prof. Berman’s research interests concentrate on the interplay between events from America’s history and how such matters are visually expressed and reflected upon within the arts.

    In addition to writing as an art historian regarding African American and Afrodiasporic arts, Prof. Berman has worked within museums and galleries coordinating exhibitions and associated events. She has worked with the African art collection at the Harn Museum of Art in Gainesville, Florida. In New York City, she managed Laurence Miller Gallery, which specializes in vintage and contemporary photography.

    With Prof. Ade Ofunniyin, Prof. Berman co-curated the exhibition Sixteen Crowns: Manifestations of Ase at the Charleston City Gallery in South Carolina. This 2018 exhibition presented paintings, sculptures, drawings, textiles, and sculptures that reflect Yoruba systems of belief. The opening and closing events included an Egungun masquerade, musical performances, storytelling, and workshops that were meant to educate and enrich the local communities where the works of art were presented.

    Prof. Berman continues to work within community-centered projects. Within her Chicago-based community, she coordinated an anti-gun violence event that brought artist Maxwell Emcays and his “Never Forget” project to the Carthage College and DePaul University student communities. Emcays creates service-oriented artworks for mothers who have lost children to gun violence, primarily within the Southside of Chicago area.

    In Gainesville, Florida, she remains the Art Liaison for the Dreamers’ Community Garden. Prof. Berman has raised funds for the installation of ironwork gates made by Shangofemi, the subject of much of her writing. Shangofemi’s forthcoming gate to be instated at Dreamers Garden will be dedicated to the memory of Prof. Ade Ofunniyin in 2022.

    • M.A. – Art History, University of Florida
    • Ph.D. – Art History, University of Florida
    • ARH 2710 Arts of the Americas
    • ARH 3700 Research Methods
    • ARH 3720 Arts of Africa
    • ARH 3730 Masterpieces of Asian Art and Architecture
    • ARH 4700 Senior Thesis