An Eastern Illinois University faculty member will present the keynote address celebrating the national traveling exhibition, "Wrapped in Pride: Ghanaian Kente and African-American Identity," on display at Booth Library.
Robert S. Petersen, an associate professor of art, will present "Kente in Context" as part of the opening program beginning at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5, in the library's West Reading Room. Admission is free and open to the public.
A reception and opening ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. in the Marvin Foyer of the library.
Kente cloth has an important symbolic meaning in Ghana, especially with regard to royal ranks and public honors. It has, in recent times, also become powerfully evocative as a broader symbol of African culture abroad. Petersen's talk will examine the development of kente traditions and some of its traditional uses within Ghana, as well as some of the more recent works that kente cloth has inspired.
Petersen teaches courses covering Africa, India, Southeast Asia, China and Japan . He graduated with a bachelor's degree in art from the University of Santa Cruz, a master's degree in performance studies from Brown University, and a doctorate in Asian theatre from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
In 1988, Petersen received a Fulbright scholarship to study the traditional arts of Indonesia and has since published numerous articles and essays on popular and traditional culture in India, Southeast Asia and Japan.
"Wrapped in Pride: Ghanaian Kente and African-American Identity," is scheduled to be on display Feb. 1 through March 10.