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NRF Research Chair

Geopolitics and the Arts of Africa

The NRF SARChI chair, Geopolitics and the Arts of Africa is run by Professor Ruth Simbao, and grows out of the Visual and Performing Arts of Africa (ViPAA) Humanities Focus Area that was founded in 2011.

The research of this team focuses on the arts in relation to the African continent, ‘global Africa’ and the ‘global south’.

Research sub-themes include:

  • ‘Place’, site and art
  • Globalisation and the geopolitics of art
  • The curatorial turn, biennialisation and the ‘south’
  • Placing ‘Africa’/Writing ‘Africa’
  • The production of knowledge and the construction of discourse
  • The reorientation of privilege in the artworld
  • Agency, diversity and democratisation
  • South Africa’s relationship to the African continent

The key aims of the team are to produce high quality research outputs (in the form of publications, exhibitions and performances), to foster academic cooperation and collaboration by working on related topics, and to engage with society by addressing pertinent social, political and economic concerns in Africa today. While our research is based in a local context, it generates dialogue with the international art world and explores new ways of conceptualising the 'local' and the 'global'.

The research team includes postdoctoral research, PhD studies, MA studies (full thesis) and MFA studies (studio practice or curating) in the Fine Art Department.  (MFA students work with Studio Practice staff in the department). A limited number of postgraduate NRF bursaries are available annually. For more information email arts.africa@ru.ac.za.


Last Modified: Wed, 15 Jan 2020 10:14:21 SAST