Assistant Professor, Art History
Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Center West, Room 104
I completed my graduate work in African Art History at the University of Florida. My research interests center upon the Modern and Contemporary periods with particular focus on colonialism from the perspective of the disenfranchised, especially those from African and other Black Atlantic cultures.
Over the past decade, I have conducted research in Ghana, the Republic of Benin and South Africa, and have also traveled to Burkina Faso, Togo and Zimbabwe. My research projects and publications focus on cross-cultural issues and visual studies within Africa and the Black Diaspora from the Modern period to present-day, examining assimilation and resistance in the colonial and postcolonial eras as well as connections to heritage and modernity as a means to establish identity. My publications have analyzed African colonial architecture, Akan leadership chairs, Fante asafo flags and the carnivalesque form of Fancy Dress masquerade in southern Ghana as well as carnival arts in Johannesburg, South Africa.
I am the recent recipient of an NEH Award for Faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities for the completion of my book Kakaamatobe: Fancy Dress Carnival in Ghana
in 2019. The manuscript is complete and has been sent to the publisher. The book will hopefully be released in fall of 2020.
In my teaching I apply creative, experimental approaches to engage students. Since my research projects and publications focus upon cross-cultural issues and visual studies within global Africa and the Diaspora, I bring a unique perspective to courses on African, American, Black Diaspora and European art.
In the spring of 2016, I initiated the ARTalks series
. This program brings arts professionals to FAMU to further engage and educate our students.
In late 2017, I curated two exhibitions “Fancy Dress Masquerade” at Gallery 1957 in Accra, Ghana, from August 10-September 2, and “A Single Bracelet Does Not Jingle: Recent Donations of African Art to the Visual Arts Collection” in FAMU’s Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Gallery from October 10-December 8. Currently, my curated exhibition “Perceptions: Encounters with African Art” in the FAMU Architecture Gallery combines artwork from the collection with student work in the Visual Arts program studio courses. Students in my African Art History course have assisted with both of these exhibitions by writing labels, designing the exhibition space and participating in the installation and deinstallation. I have more than 12 years of experience working in museums, from intern to curator, at such institutions as the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution; Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University; Albany Museum of Art (Georgia); Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida; and Wits Art Museum, University of the Witwatersrand. I coordinate the Visual Arts program's Fine Arts Collection of African and Diaspora Art
I am currently on the Board of the Cross-Cultural Coalition
whose mission is to bring greater cultural awareness to the Tallahassee community through the arts.
University of Florida, African Art History, Ph.D., 2010
Cleveland State University, Art History and History, M.A., 1992
Georgia State University, Art History, B.A., 1990
FAMU: Art Appreciation, Art History I, Art History II, Modern Art History, American Art History, African Art History, African-American Art History
NEH Award for Faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, 2019
Faculty Travel Award, Florida A & M University, Summer 2017
Triennial Symposium Travel Award, Arts Council of the African Studies Association (ACASA), 2014
Two Teaching and Learning Grants, Center for Advanced Teaching and Learning, Elon University, 2013
Center for African Studies Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (FLAS), Summer Intensive
Language Study, University of Florida/University of Cape Coast (Ghana), 2009
Graduate Teaching Assistantship, University of Florida, 2006-2010
Dr. Linton E. Grinter Fellowship, University of Florida, 2006-2009
"Perceptions: Encounters with African Art." FAMU Architecture Gallery, Tallahassee, FL, October 7 - November 8, 2019
“A Single Bracelet Does Not Jingle: Recent Donations of African Art to the Visual Arts Collection.” FAMU Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Gallery, Tallahassee, FL, October 10 – December 8, 2017
“Fancy Dress Masquerade.” Gallery 1957, Accra, Ghana, August 10 – September 2, 2017
“A Palace to Rival British Rule: The Amonoo Residence in Ghana.” Critical Interventions 11, no. 2 (2017): 132-154. pdf
“Joburg Carnival and the Potential for Social Cohesion and Therapeutic Activism.” South African Journal of Art History 32, no. 1 (2017): 89-109. pdf
“Kente Cloth.” Smarthistory. (2017) website
Review of Paul Schauert, Staging Ghana: Artistry and Nationalism in State Dance Ensembles for African Studies Quarterly 17, no. 1 (March 2017): 148-149. pdf
"Age of Elegance: An Italianate Sobrado on the Gold Coast." African Studies Quarterly 16, no. 1 (December 2015): 39-71. pdf
“Status and Mimicry: African Colonial Period Architecture in Coastal Ghana.” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 74, no. 1 (March 2015): 42-63. pdf
“Carnival in Ghana: Fancy Dress Street Parades and Competition.” African Arts 47, no. 1 (Spring 2014): 30-41. pdf1 pdf2
“Fancy Dress: African Masquerade in Coastal Ghana” In Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion online, Berg Fashion Library, ed. Joanne Eicher and Doran Ross. Africa volume, November 2012. pdf
“Masquefest 2012.” In Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion online, Berg Fashion Library, ed. Joanne Eicher and Doran Ross. Africa volume, November 2012. pdf
“Performing Ferocity: Fancy Dress, Asafo and Red Indians in Ghana.” African Arts 45, no. 2 (Summer 2012): 24-35. pdf
“Griffins, Crocodiles and the British Ensign: Kweku Kakanu's Asafo Flags and Followers.” In Africa Interweave, ed. Susan Cooksey, 142-145. Gainesville: Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, 2011. pdf
Review of Charles Gore, Art, Performance and Ritual in Benin City, for Africa, Journal of the International African Institute 81, no. 3 (August 2011): 512-514. pdf