Fine Arts Program

Courtnay Micots

Assistant Professor, Art History

Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Center West, Room 104
(850) 561-2844


I completed my graduate work in African Art History at the University of Florida. My research focuses on resistance arts within African architecture, carnival and textiles. I teach courses in Art Appreciation, global art history surveys, African Art, African-American Art, American Art and seminars in Modern art and Carnival in Africa and the Diaspora. I am passionate about art that evinces cultural contact and resistance.

Over the last decade, I have conducted fieldwork in Ghana and South Africa, and I have also traveled to Burkina Faso, Togo, the Republic of Benin, and Zimbabwe. My publications examine African colonial architecture in coastal Ghana; carnival arts in Johannesburg, South Africa; and Fante asafo flags and Fancy Dress masquerade in Ghana.

I am the recent recipient of an NEH Award for Faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities for the completion of my book on Ghanaian Fancy Dress in 2019. I will travel to Bahia, Brazil in late February/early March 2019, to complete the chapter research on the Afro-Brazilian contribution to Fancy Dress. Repatriated former slaves in Brazil settled in Ghana, Benin and Nigeria in the 1830s and many Afro-Brazilians continued to immigrate during the 19th and 20th century; few art historians have examined their contribution to Ghanaian art.

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, 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.

I curated the exhibition “Fancy Dress Masquerade” at Gallery 1957 in Accra which opened August 10, 2017; and the exhibition “A Single Bracelet Does Not Jingle,” featuring works from a recent donation of African art from the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida. The exhibition was held from October 10-December 8, 2017, in the Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Gallery. My students in African Art History assisted with the exhibition. 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 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


Art History I, Art History II, Modern Art History, American Art History, African Art History, African-American Art History, Art Appreciation


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


“A Single Bracelet Does Not Jingle: Recent Donations of African Art to the Visual Arts Collection.” Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (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

Contact Info

1630- 1640 Pinder Street
100 Foster-Tanner Art - East
Tallahassee, Florida 32307

P: (850) 599-3161