Date & Time
Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Location Heinz History Center 1212 Smallman Street
Pittsburgh PA, 15222
Ticketing $10 General Admission
$5 Members
Free for Students with a Valid ID

Discover how art provides imprisoned people with a voice during the 10th Annual Black History Month Lecture.

Presented by the History Center’s African American Program, this in-person lecture featuring Dr. Nicole R. Fleetwood will discuss how art can heal and humanize in the age of mass incarceration.

More than two million people are currently behind bars in the United States.

According to Dr. Nicole R. Fleetwood, incarceration not only separates the imprisoned from their families and communities, but it exposes them to deprivation, abuse, and arbitrary cruelties of the criminal justice system.

Despite that, many of America’s prisons are filled with art. Despite the isolation and degradation they may experience, the incarcerated are driven to assert their humanity in the face of a system that dehumanizes them.

A MacArthur Genius Fellow, curator, art critic, and author of the award-winning “Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” Dr. Nicole R. Fleetwood will reveal her unique perspective on how the imprisoned use art to express the visual culture of incarceration and its current impact on contemporary art. 

Dr. Fleetwood’s lecture will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience and a book signing.

This program is brought to you in part with generous support from:


$10 General Admission

$5 Members

Free for Students with a Valid ID

This program will take place in the Mueller Center on the museum’s 5th Floor.

About the Speaker

Nicole R. Fleetwood is the inaugural James Weldon Johnson Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication in the Steinhardt School at New York University. A MacArthur Fellow, she is a writer, curator, and art critic whose interests are contemporary Black diasporic art and visual culture, photography studies, art and public practice, performance studies, gender and feminist studies, Black cultural history, creative nonfiction, prison abolition and carceral studies, and poverty studies.

She is the author “Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration” (Harvard University Press, 2020), winner of the National Book Critics Award in Criticism, the John Hope Franklin Publication Prize of the American Studies Association, the Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship, and both the Charles Rufus Morey Book Award in art history and the Frank Jewett Mather Award in art criticism. She is also the curator of the traveling exhibition, Marking Time: Art in the Era of Mass Incarceration, which debuted at MoMA PS1 (Sept. 17, 2020-April 5, 2021). The exhibition was listed as “one of the most important art moments in 2020” by The New York Times and among the best shows of the year by The New Yorker and Hyperallergic.