Chika Okeke-Agulu

Associate Professor
Department of Art and Archaeology & Department of African American Studies
Ph.D, Art History
Emory University
office:
317 McCormick Hall
office phone:
(609) 258-7456
email:
cokekeag@princeton.edu
twitter:
@Chikaokekeagulu
website:
http://chikaokeke-agulu.blogspot.com
Chika Okeke-Agulu

Chika Okeke-Agulu specializes in classical, modern, and contemporary African and African Diaspora art history and theory. He previously taught at The Pennsylvania State University, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Yaba College of Technology, Lagos. He is the author of Obiora Udechukwu: Line, Image, Text (Skira Editore, 2016); Postcolonial Modernism: Art and Decolonization in Twentieth-Century Nigeria (Duke, 2015); and (with Okwui Enwezor), Contemporary African Art Since 1980 (Damiani, 2010). He is coeditor of Ezumeezu: Essays on Contemporary Art and Architecture, a festschrift in Honour of Demas Nwoko (Goldline & Jacobs, 2012); and Who Knows Tomorrow (König, 2010) In 2006, he edited the first ever issue of African Arts Dedicated to African Modernism, and his writings have appeared in African Arts, Meridians: Feminism, Race, Internationalism, Artforum International, New York Times, Packett, South Atlantic Quarterly, October. He is co-editor of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, writes for Huffington Post and maintains the blog Ọfọdunka.

In 2007, Professor Okeke-Agulu was appointed the Robert Sterling Clark Visiting Professor of Art History at Williams College, and Fellow at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute (2008). He was a Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellow (2010). Among his many awards and prizes are: Honorable Mention, The Arnold Rubin Outstanding Publication (triennial) Award (Arts Council of African Studies Association, 2017); The Melville J. Herskovits Prize for the most important scholarly work in African Studies published in English during the preceding year (African Studies Association, 2016); Distinguished Alumnus Award for Outstanding Service to the Arts (The College of Arts, University of South Florida, Tampa, 2016); Frank Jewett Mather Award for Distinction in Art Criticism (College Art Association, 2016); and Outstanding Dissertation (triennial) award (Arts Council of African Studies Association, 2007).

Okeke-Agulu serves on the board of directors of College Art Association, the advisory board of the Center for the Study of Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, the executive board of Princeton in Africa, and editorial board of African Studies Review.

Courses

AAS 245/ART 245
Harlem Renaissance and Black Arts Movements

This course surveys important moments in twentieth century African American art from the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s to the 1960s Black Arts movement. Our close studies of the work of major artists will be accompanied by examination of influential theories and ideologies of blackness during two key moments of black racial consciousness in the United States. We shall cover canonical artists and writers such as Aaron Douglas, James van der Zee, William H. Johnson, Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, W. E. B. Du Bois, Alain Locke, James Porter and Jeff Donaldson.

AAS 372 / ART 374 / AMS 372
Postblack: Contemporary African American Art

As articulated by Thelma Golden, postblack refers to the work of African American artists who emerged in the 1990s with ambitious, irreverent, and sassy work. Though hard to define, postblack suggested the emergence of a generation of artists removed from the long tradition of black affirmation of the Harlem Renaissance, black empowerment of the Black Arts movement, and identity politics of the 1980s and early 90s. This seminar provides an opportunity for a deep engagement with the work of African American artists of the past decade. It will involve critical and theoretical readings on multiculturalism, race, identity, and contemporary art.

AAS 411 / ART 471 / AFS 411
Art, Apartheid, and South Africa

Apartheid, the political doctrine of separation of races in South Africa (1948-1990), dominated the (South) African political discourse in the second half of the 20th century. While it lasted, art and visual cultures were marshaled in the defense and contestation of its ideologies. Since the end of Apartheid, artists, filmmakers, dramatists, and scholars continue to reexamine the legacies of Apartheid, and the social, philosophical, and political conditions of non-racialized South Africa. Course readings examine issues of race, nationalism and politics, art and visual culture, and social memory in South Africa.

ART 260 / AAS 260 / AFS 260 (LA)
Introduction to African Art

An introduction to African art and architecture from prehistory to the 20th century. Beginning with Paleolithic rock art of northern and southern Africa, we will cover ancient Nubia and Meroe; Neolithic cultures such as Nok, Djenne and Ife; African kingdoms, including Benin, Asante, Bamun, Kongo, Kuba, Great Zimbabwe, and the Zulu; Christian Ethiopia and the Islamic Swahili coast; and other societies, such as the Sherbro, Igbo, and the Maasai. By combining Africa’s cultural history and developments in artistic forms we establish a long historical view of the stunning diversity of the continent’s indigenous arts and architecture.