Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby and Vanessa Jackson on Alexandre Dumas’s Afro: Blackness Caricatured, Erased, and Back Again
Cocurators of Alexandre Dumas’s Afro, Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby and Vanessa Jackson, introduce the exhibition, which examines caricature, race, and the infantilization of Alexandre Dumas, the prolific author of The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo, among many other books. Why, they ask, is Dumas’s work so often celebrated in films, comics, and children’s books yet ignored by scholars?
Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby, Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor in the Arts and Humanities at UC Berkeley, specializes in eighteenth- through twentieth-century French and American art and material culture, particularly in relation to the politics of race, slavery, and colonialism. Her two most recent books are Enduring Truths: Sojourner’s Shadows and Substance and the newly published Creole: Portraits of France’s Foreign Relations During the Long Nineteenth Century.
Vanessa Jackson, a UC Berkeley PhD candidate in art history, studies eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European art, especially in Revolutionary and Post-Revolutionary France. Her research focuses on visual and literary representations of the Black body during the nineteenth century.