Institut für Kunstgeschichte



Call for Applications

Anthropology and Contemporary Visual Arts from the Black Atlantic: between the Art Museum and the Ethnological Museum in the Global North


A series of three Summer Schools to be held in Dakar, Senegal (December 2018), Port-au-Prince, Haiti (June 2019) and Hannover, Germany (April 2020) funded by the Volkswagen Foundation.
What are the effects of a ‚global‘ approach in art history and its institutions? Which place for the arts of the Black Atlantic therein? Taking as a starting point the recent move within the ‚global‘ museum world – the ongoing debates on the West-centric histories of many museum collections, the opening of new art institutions and museums in the Global South, the ‚struggle‘ for an adequate art historical and anthropological approach within these transcultural contexts and flows, the search for new cooperations and a new curatorial practices – this summer school aims to critically discuss and frame these developments with regard to the arts of the Black Atlantic. In a team of international experts and with PhD students from different countries and backgrounds we also aim to practically engage in the application of our findings by working on a joined exhibition project.
Organised in three modules, this Summer School brings under one umbrella contemporary visual arts from Africa and its American and European diasporas which are considered as fragments of the wider framework of Black Atlantic arts. Investigating the relationships between art historical and anthropological discourse and methodology on the one hand, established museographic conventions on the other, it critically addresses the place/s assigned to Black Atlantic arts in ethnographic and art museums in the West as well as in the Black Atlantic. Our major objective is to explore future potentialities of collaboration between art history and anthropology in the light of the specificities of Black Atlantic visual arts, their interwoven historical trajectories and contemporary practices on both sides of the ocean.
Each module comprises five course days. Regular course assignments include readings, lectures and key-notes delivered by renowned specialists on the visual arts of the Black Atlantic, the presentation and discussion of PhD and postdoc research projects, roundtable discussions with local resource persons – curators, artists, researchers, and civil society activists. In addition, the main distinctive feature of the overall project is an exhibition workshop to be conducted throughout all three modules. Its topic will be decided upon by the participants on-site (Dakar venue). As a result of shared curating, the exhibition will open at the WeltenMuseum Hannover during the last module of the Summer School in 2020.
Conveners and Course leaders
El Hadji Malick Ndiaye (Art Historian & Curator, Université Cheikh Anta Diop / Musée Théodore Monod, Dakar); Kerstin Pinther (Professor for Art History & Curator, Ludwig-Maximilian Universität München); Brigitte Reinwald (Professor for African History, Leibniz Universität Hannover); Christoph Singler (Professor for Literatures and Visual Arts in Latin America, Université Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Besançon); Romuald Tchibozo (Senior Lecturer & Deputy Director, Institut National des Métiers d’Art, d’Archéologie et de la Culture, Université d’Abomey-Calavi, Benin); Sterlin Ulysse (Assistant Professor& Director, Institut d’Histoire de l’Art/Université d'État d'Haiti, Port-au-Prince).
Furthermore, lectures and key notes are delivered by high-profile academics, researchers, curators and museum experts from the wider field of Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Art History, Philosophy, and Provenance Research, from Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, France, the Netherlands, Senegal and the United States.

Target group & Conditions for Applications
We invite PhD students and Post-Doc researchers in the fields of art history, cultural anthropology, cultural studies, who pursue projects pertaining to Africa and its diasporas (the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe) to apply for the Summer School.
Applicants should be based in Germany and are expected to submit a short statement of purpose (one page) and a synopsis of their PhD or Post-doc project (max. 5 pages) in one of the following languages: English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. They are expected to attend all three modules and to be fluent in at least one or better two of the languages mentioned above.
Course Material (Reading Assignments) will be made available in due course via an e-cloud. Assiduous and intensive reading is imperative, and will be rewarded by being part of an exciting venture of transatlantic exchange, involving junior and senior academics, curators and artists from the wider Atlantic space, most of whom will attend all modules of this Summer School, too. This project will hopefully generate a dense network between all participants, thus multiplying and deepening the transatlantic transfer of knowledge and creative ideas.

The project coordination assumes the coverage of travel expenses (flights, accommodation, and per diems) as well as baby sitting for all selected participants.

A total of 25 Phd and postdoc are expected to attend these Summer Schools, with 10 among them being based in Germany.
Please address your application by October 31, 2018 to
Christoph Singler:

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