Conceptions of White: Examining the Origins, Travel, and Present Reality of “Whiteness” as a Concept and a Racial Invention Through Art

When and Where

Wednesday, March 22, 2023 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm
200 Larkin
Centre for Ethics


Lillian O’Brien Davis
Letticia Cosbert Miller


Conceptions of White: Examining the Origins, Travel, and Present Reality of “Whiteness” as a Concept and a Racial Invention Through Art

Join us for a conversation between Centre for Ethics Doctoral Fellow Letticia Cosbert Miller and Conceptions of Whiteco-curator Lillian O’Brien Davis exploring topics related to the exhibition and intersecting interests of race, ethics and power in art and art-making.

Conceptions of White (co-curated by John Hampton and Lillian O’Brien Davis) is an exhibition offering context and nuanced perspectives that help viewers grapple with contemporary configurations of White identity. The exhibition examines the origins, travel, and present reality of “Whiteness” as a concept and a racial invention that classifies degrees of civility/humanity. The exhibition is currently being presented at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto until March 25th, 2023.

All who attend the talk will be invited to join Lillian and Letticia at the Art Museum (one block away) for a late viewing of the exhibition (the gallery will remain open until 8:00pm) to informally continue the conversation and tour the works discussed during the talk.

► this event is in-person at the Centre for Ethics (Larkin building, room 200)

Lillian O’Brien Davis is a curator, writer based in Toronto, ON. She holds a Masters of Visual Studies in Curatorial Studies and a BA Hons. in the History of Art and English Literature from the University of Toronto. Lillian is currently the Curator of Exhibitions and Public Programs at Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography and curator for Nuit Blanche Etobicoke 2023. She has curated independent projects at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto, Susan Hobbs Gallery (Toronto), School of Art Gallery at the University of Manitoba and the MacKenzie Art Gallery (Regina). Her writing has appeared in BlackFlash Magazine, Canadian Art online, C Magazine, Insight Magazine and RACAR Art History Journal. She is also currently one of two inaugural Visiting Curators at the University of Manitoba School of Art Gallery.

Letticia Cosbert Miller is a Toronto-based writer and curator. She is currently a PhD student in the Department of Classics at the University of Toronto. Letticia’s work as a writer is often in dialogue with historical, mythological, or philosophical tropes from the western classical tradition. Her academic research interests lie within the reception of Classics in Black diasporic contemporary culture. Letticia is author of Swimming Up a Dark Tunnel, a collection of essays exploring water and Black visual culture, published by Gallery 44 in 2022.

05:30 PM - 07:00 PM
Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
200 Larkin

Contact Information


Centre for Ethics