Welcome New Faculty 2022-2023
Dr. Nana Adusei-Poku is joining us as an assistant professor in African Diasporic art history this Fall ’22. Her research and teaching interests include four central themes or areas: artistic production from the African Diasporas; cultural shifts and their articulation at the intersections of art, politics, and popular culture; curatorial practice as a research tool; and critical pedagogy in relationship to decolonize aesthetics–all explored within a truly interdisciplinary field linking art history, African diaspora studies, critical race theory, curatorial praxis, museum studies, gender and sexuality studies, feminist theory, and more. Current book projects include a study of Black Melancholia as condition and concept (we are thrilled to cite Nana’s just-opened exhibition Black Melancholia at the CCS Bard Galleries, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, receiving serious appreciation in the press) and an edited volume, Reshaping the Field: Art of the African Diasporas on Display, for Afterall. Prior to Berkeley, Nana was a Term Associate Professor and Luma Scholar at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard, and held Research Professor positions at the Hogeschool Rotterdam, among other international appointments. Welcome Nana!
Dr. Zamansele Nsele will join us as an assistant professor in Spring ’23. Dr. Nsele is an art historian and currently a lecturer teaching Black & African Visual and Cultural studies in the English department at the University of Johannesburg. Her book project, ‘Reckoning with (Post) Apartheid & Colonial Nostalgias in Contemporary Archival Art Practice’, builds on her 2020 PhD exploring contemporary artists’ use of the apartheid-colonial archive to examine how expression of nostalgias can generate epistemologies that sanitize, disavow, and aestheticize oppressive racial histories. She has teaching interests in critical theories of Blackness in art, aesthetics, and visual representation, with particular emphasis on the tradition of resistance art movements in the United States and South Africa. Widely published and active as a critic, journalist, and cultural organizer, Zamansele’s work critiques image-based rituals of antiblack violence. Zamansele was named in 2018 as one of the Mail & Guardian’s prestigious top 200 young South Africans (we note, for instance, her excellent interviews in the M&G with the Zimbabwean novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga and the US scholar Frank B. Wilderson III). Previously, she was Lecturer and course coordinator for the Art History & Visual Culture program at Rhodes University. We look forward to welcoming Zamansele to the department come January!