The graduate program in African Art in the Department of Art History fosters innovative research in the expressive cultures of Africa and its diasporas. It welcomes students interested to explore a broad range of methods, themes, and media in the course of their intellectual formation towards careers in the academy, the museum world, and beyond. Students in the program engage with African art and architecture from the pre-colonial, colonial, and post- colonial periods, from urban and rural contexts, and with an emphasis on the relationship between the continent and the world.
Courses and advising are steeped in interdisciplinary collaboration within the department and throughout the university, encouraging students to think broadly and rigorously about their area of specialization and the art historical discipline at large. Students in African art history are especially encouraged to enroll in classes and engage with the distinguished community of scholars and students specializing in African Studies at the University of Chicago in the departments of anthropology, history, human development, literature, political science, and religious studies. The African Studies community at the university is a supportive and inspiring group that meets bi-weekly in the African Studies Workshop to discuss a work in progress presented by a graduate student or a member of the faculty.
The superb cultural institutions in and around Chicago allow for the deep and regular engagement with works of art that we consider central to the advanced study of the history of art.