Álvaro Luís Lima is an Assistant Professor of Art History specializing in modern and contemporary art from Africa. He received his Ph.D. in Art History & Archaeology at Columbia University with advanced certificates in Psychoanalytic Studies and Comparative Literature & Society. Research interests include psychoanalysis, animal studies, and queer theory.
Lima is currently examining the rise and fall of modernism in Mozambique, spanning from the late colonial era to the end of the Cold War. His book project focuses on art during the country’s transition from Marxist-Leninism to a multi-party democracy. The book analyzes this unique history as a case study of the aesthetic impact of the end of the Cold War in the Global South. This project builds on Lima’s doctoral work, for which he spent over a year conducting interviews and archival research in Mozambique.
He recently curated After the End: Timing Socialism in Contemporary African Art, an exhibition at Columbia University’s Wallach Art Gallery. After the End featured a selection of contemporary artists engaging with the temporality of African socialisms, including themes of nostalgia, utopia, repetition, and historicity. This art exhibition was the first in North America to explore African socialisms and their aftermath.
A member of the editorial board of African Arts, Lima is currently editing a special issue on African socialisms for the journal (Fall 2021). Other forthcoming projects include two chapters for the edited volume Atlantica: Contemporary Art from Mozambique and Its Diaspora (Winter 2020), a chapter for Atlantica: Contemporary Art from Cabo-Verde, Guinea Bissau, São Tomé and Príncipe and its Diasporas (2021), and guest-editing a special issue of Critical Interventions on socialism in contemporary African art (Spring 2021).
He is affiliate faculty in the Center for African Studies and the Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research.