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Sarah Elizabeth Lewis

2024 Speaker

Speaker | Reframing Failure into Success: Embrace the Near Win

SARAH ELIZABETH LEWIS is an art and cultural historian. She is an associate professor of history of art and architecture and African and African American studies at Harvard University and the founder of Vision & Justice. Lewis serves on the Standing Committee on American Studies and Standing Committee on Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Harvard University. Her books and edited volumes include The Rise, Carrie Mae Weems, and “Vision & Justice” by Aperture magazine. In 2019, Lewis received the Freedom Scholar Award, presented by The Association for the Study of African American Life and History for her body of work and its “direct positive impact on the life of African-Americans.” She was named an Andrew Carnegie Fellow in 2022. Her forthcoming publications include How Race Changed Sight in America (Harvard University Press, 2024), Vision & Justice (One World/Random House, Fall 2024), and Groundwork: Race and Aesthetics in the Era of Stand Your Ground Law (Spring 2024). The article on which Groundwork is based, published in Art Journal (Winter 2020), won the 2022 Arthur Danto/ASA Prize from the American Philosophical Association for “the best paper in the field of aesthetics, broadly understood.” Lewis currently serves on the boards of Thames & Hudson Inc., Creative Time, Harvard Design Press, and Civil War History journal, and is a member of the Yale University Honorary Degrees Committee. She received her bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, an M. Phil from Oxford University, an MA from Courtauld Institute of Art, and her PhD from Yale University. She lives in New York City and Cambridge, MA.