In the Loop
General News : Mar 25, 2014

Join us at upcoming research presentations with art history professor candidates

You are invited to attend research presentations by three candidates for the position of Assistant Professor of Art History with a specialization in African art. The first research presentation “El-Anatsui: New Worlds” by Art History  Position Candidate Dr. Amanda Gilvin is today, March 25, 2014, from 3-4 p.m. in FAC 201.

Upcoming candidates include:

Dr. Shannen Hill
Tuesday, April 1
3-4 p.m., FAC 201
Talk title:  TBA

Dr. Lisa Homann
Thursday, April 3
4-5 p.m., FAC 201
Talk title:  TBA

More information on the candidates:

Dr. Amanda Gilvin
Amanda Gilvin received her Ph.D. in History of Art from Cornell in 2012. She is in the process of turning her dissertation into a book manuscript called, Mining Beauty: Art and Development in Niger, that looks at the intersection between the creation of African art and the formation of the African state. Her scholarship, based on extensive research in Niger, examines how successive governments, transnational corporations, and development organizations have treated the arts of Niger as natural resources available for economic exploitation. She also writes on contemporary African art and fashion, and she anticipates that her next project will be a comparative study of museums in Africa.
Gilvin is currently a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in African Art and Architecture at Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges. As part of her work there, she is guest co-curating two exhibitions of contemporary African art at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, one on El Anatsui and one on Zwelethu Mthethwa, and she has also worked with students to curate a temporary exhibition of African art at the Smith College Museum. She is also teaching an introductory survey of African Art and courses on Contemporary Art of Africa and the African Diaspora and Textiles and Fashion of African and the African Diaspora. Amanda already has a promising record of publications, including most notably, articles accepted by the journals Critical Interventions and African Arts, a special issue of Critical Interventions on art education in Africa for which she served as editor, and an essay on El Anatsui in the catalog of the upcoming exhibition at Mount Holyoke. In addition to that there is an invited book chapter, articles in less prominent journals, several reviews, and a forthcoming chapter, article, and book translation from French. She has presented papers at the annual African Studies Association (ASA) conference, the Triennial Symposium on Africa Art (ACASA), and at Rutgers, at Boston University, in Niger, and in Istanbul. With her curatorial experience, we anticipate that she may be a productive partner for the Harn Museum, and as a bonus, her work complements the art education and museum studies areas of the School of Art + Art History.

Dr. Shannen Hill
Shannen Hill, currently Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, received the Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a specialist in the study of contemporary African art. Her expertise is especially notable in regard to South African art and history. The University of Minnesota Press will publish her book Biko and Black Consciousness in South African Visual Culture in autumn 2014. Hill is an active scholar with significant potential for intellectual growth. She has produced and published a number of articles, reviews, and encyclopedia entries. Most significant among her secondary publications is the special issue called “Trauma and Representation: Imaging Violence in Africa” for the peer-reviewed journal African Arts. She is already at work on a second book that addresses the ways that the lives of South African miners have been portrayed in political arts. However, Hill is not limited to the present or recent past in her research. She addresses art made across centuries in Africa and its diasporas— west and east. Some of her work attempts to bridge the gap between so-called “traditional art” and the art of the present. In one article, for example, she explores the concept of minkisi, a form of art in the Kongo culture of the past, and how the concept is seemingly maintained in altered form in syncretic Christian churches. She has presented papers at the annual African Studies Association (ASA) conference, the Triennial Symposium on Africa Art (ACASA), the College Art association (CAA), academic conferences in Pretoria and Johannesburg, South Africa, and at many museums and universities. She is on the Board of ACASA, where she serves as Secretary/Treasurer.
Hill has more than a decade of teaching a range of courses addressing visual culture that varies in date, location, context and ethos (including full courses devoted to these along the Atlantic rim and in the United States). Among the many courses she has taught are Living Arts of Africa,  African Art of the Atlantic Rim, Global Africa, South African Art, Postcolonial Theory and Visual Culture in Africa, Transnational Blackness and Visual Culture, and Photography and Africa. She can also teach African American Art History and can work with our Modernist in teaching courses on Contemporary Art. She has also served as Director of Victoria H. Myhren Gallery at the University of Denver, suggesting she can interact successfully with Museum Studies students.
Dr. Lisa Homann
Lisa Homann received her PhD from UCLA in 2011. She has taught at Wayne State and is currently a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Penn Humanities Forum at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research deals with a Muslim masquerade called lo gue in the city of Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, where she has conducted extensive fieldwork. As Homann explains, performers don white masks and perform at night, continually investing in the practice because it links them both to a global Muslim community and to their local, often non-Muslim, environment. Themes in her research include Islamic identity within Africa, the urban, the nocturnal, and violence. Homann has submitted one article for review to the major interdisciplinary journal RES: Journal of Anthropology and Aesthetics, and is currently working on turning her dissertation into a book. Her present work at Penn on the topic of violence is leading her toward a second book project on other masks whose violent nature is key to their performance. Homann has the experience and training to be able to teach a range of courses on African, African-American, and African diaspora art. Notably, she can also teach courses on Islamic art in the African context. Homann’s recommenders (all distinguished Africanists who worked with her during her PhD training) are unanimously supportive. Her research is described as ground-breaking, intellectually rigorous, and confounding of stereotypes, while her teaching is characterized as solid, fair, and accessible.