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As an artist and cultural investigator specializing in contemporary art theory and practice, my area of research is centered on African spiritual and aesthetic retentions, rediscoveries and reinventions in the African diaspora. As an educator, my pedagogical interest is in constructing new and innovative teaching methods to critically analyze works of art. I was therefore eager to introduce the concept of ashé as an aesthetic criterion to my students and colleagues but needed to test my hypothesis. To that end I created a research project to assess the viability
of my hypothesis.
The results of my investigation led to the creation of a series of four weekly workshops that challenge participants to conduct critical analyses of works of art using ashé as a criterion along with the accepted formal elements of art and principles of design. To date, I have conducted these workshops with a diverse population of students from Spelman College, Morehouse College, Clark Atlanta University, Emory University and Colgate University. Spelman College’s African Diaspora and the World program (ADW)1 has embraced my project and a number of faculty members have used it in the classroom with promising results. The primary purpose of this essay is to introduce the project to a broader audience of students, educators, and scholars.