The Courtauld Institute of Art is announcing today that The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a significant grant of $750,000 to establish two senior teaching posts in modern and contemporary art of Africa and the African diaspora. Joining the permanent faculty of 35 academics, these new colleagues will enable The Courtauld to extend and deepen teaching and research in this thriving field of study. New courses will be offered to undergraduate students from the 2020-2021 academic year, and new postgraduate degree special options and research programmes will be recruiting students for academic year 2021-22.
“We are tremendously grateful to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their longstanding support. This grant is a significant opportunity to advance the field of art history, and to strengthen teaching, new research and public engagement in modern and contemporary African and African diaspora art history in the United Kingdom and internationally” says Professor Deborah Swallow, Märit Rausing Director of The Courtauld Institute of Art.
A focus in the art of Africa and the African diaspora is part of The Courtauld’s long-term strategy to fortify the global reach of our teaching and research. Inspired by students, faculty, alumni, and by critical debates about the Eurocentrism of the art museum and humanities in the West, The Courtauld has expressed its commitment to global art histories over the past decade with a number of appointments in the fields of Middle Eastern and Asian art. The grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will help further develop The Courtauld’s robust research programme that focuses attention on migration, diversity, and artists who have been marginalised by curricula and arts institutions. The urgency for the appointment of specialists in African and African diaspora art histories is underscored by the recent Royal Historical Society report on race, ethnicity and equality, which makes a powerful case for greater diversity among university students, faculty, and curricula in historical disciplines.
Dean and Deputy Director, Professor Antony Eastmond says, “The histories of African and African diaspora art are dynamic and lively fields that are changing and challenging the discipline of art history. We are very excited by the way that these posts will broaden and diversify the range of teaching and research that The Courtauld can offer, and by the opportunities they will give to students to study and participate in the debates that they raise.”
Dr Alixe Bovey, Head of Research at The Courtauld, says, “This is an extraordinary opportunity for us to develop a significant research base in this dynamic and rapidly expanding field of scholarship, which will nourish our taught and research degrees and support our public-facing programmes. There is a palpable sense of excitement across our community for this initiative.”
“This is a fantastic opportunity to expand our teaching programme by recruiting two world-leading scholars working at the cutting edge of their fields. This will have long-term impact, not only at The Courtauld but across the discipline of Art History within the United Kingdom and worldwide.” said Dr Jo Applin, Head of Art History at The Courtauld.
Applications are now open from specialists in any area of this broad field of African and African diaspora art history, from c. 1800 to the present. A Lecturer or Senior Lecturer, and Professor will be appointed through a standard panel review process. Applications are due online to The Courtauld Institute of Art from eligible applicants by 06 November, 2019.