To Nimbly Rewind: Fixing a New Constellation of Ideas circa 1994
The concluding coda engages three interconnected projects from circa 1994: the essay collection Picturing Us: African American Identity in Photography, edited by Deborah Willis; VanDerZee, Photographer, 1886–1983, a major exhibition of James Van Der Zee's work at the National Portrait Gallery; and Lorna Simpson's homage to Van Der Zee's practice and legacy through 9 Props. Earnestly, the chapter aims to illustrate that often what is needed to expand studies on African American photography is already in the historiography. To nimbly rewind is to explore and refine which groupings of ideas are worth reengaging in tandem. The coda offers but one example by turning back in time to circa 1994. Doing so highlights the kinds of diverse evidentiary materials that can create compelling constellations of ideas for redirecting scholarship.