Full course description

African Modernisms

This workshop will introduce students to the debates and discussions around the concept of "global modernism" and its iterations in twentieth century Africa. After some introductory sessions discussing the term "modernism," its familiar Western-centric history, and its relationship to colonialism and anti-colonialism, we will look in-depth at engagements with and productions of modernist art in different national contexts across the African continent, including Senegal, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa and the DRC. The workshop will also include a visit to the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art on April 6, and will involve discussions about exhibitions and displays of modern art from Africa in Western institutions.

  • Meets January 24 - May 10, 2018: Fridays, 1:00pm - 3:30pm
  • Meeting location: The Phillips Collection, Center Studio, 1600 21st Street, NW. Washington, DC 20009.
  • Offered by the Department of Art History and Archaeology, University of Maryland College Park.
  • Instructor: Kate Cowcher is the Phillips Collection and University of Maryland Postdoctoral Fellow in Modern and Contemporary Art for 2017-2018. She recently completed her doctoral thesis, which explored art and visual culture in the Ethiopian Revolution (1974-1991). Her research has been supported by a Graduate Fellowship from Stanford University and the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) at the National Gallery, Washington D.C.Kate's broader research interests include modern and contemporary art in Africa and the Diaspora, African socialism, legacies of the Cold War in African visual culture, cultural exchange between Africa and Soviet/post-Soviet Russia, African cinema, artist collectives and the post-colonial city.
  • Workshops do not post to the UMD transcript and do not count towards a student's academic record. Neither grade nor credit is earned. Students do not receive a University ID card and will not have access to University facilities such as recreation, transportation, and campus events. Workshop students may access UMD Libraries as “Visitors”; see https://www.lib.umd.edu/about/visitors

Enrollment: November 1, 2017 to January 24, 2018
Members of The Phillips Collection Fee: $383.00* 
*Members of The Phillips Collection should contact Victoria Hagar at vhagar@phillipscollection.org to receive the promo code required to receive the discounted rate.
Non-member Fee: $1,089.00