Saturday, December 31, 2011



State of Emergency Declared in parts of Nigeria

I am not sure what to feel about the news today of the declaration of state of emergency in parts of four northern states by the Nigerian government. Ordinarily, it should enable the government to mobilize the resources needed to check the rampant terroristic mayhem of the Boko Haram groups; and that would be a good thing. But then, it could also provide the police and military the opportunity for unchecked abuse of law abiding citizens. They have a track record: whenever they are unleashed for security reasons, travel in the affected areas becomes impossible, especially if you do not have enough money and will to offer bribes to the armed official so you can drive past their checkpoints without molestation. I guess I just wished that--OK, I think my idealist alter ego is the one speaking now--Mr. Jonathan had previously declared a state of emergency to deal with runaway corruption inside and outside his government. If he had successfully carried out such campaign, then I would be more sanguine about the prospects of this new state of emergency.

Bishop Oyedepo Slaps "President Jonathan"

The last time we saw super-Bishop Oyedepo, he was slapping a hapless, defiant woman who called herself a "Witch for Jesus" in front of his tumultuous congregation. Apparently buoyed by his success in the redemption-by-assault tactic, the great bishop has now done what Nigerians like me have been hoping some super-human power could do to our dear president: slap him out of his presidential stupor. But it is nice to see that "President Jonathan" has gone to the bishop to have his sorry, somnolent leadership style beaten out of him. Except of course, as it turns out, the agenda of the bishop and the president are...

Watch this: 
courtesy of SaharaTV

Friday, December 30, 2011

Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee events at Princeton

Charlie Cobb, Courtland Cox, Ivanhoe Donaldson, Eddie Glaude, Bob Moses, and Imani Perry, Larry Rubin, December 15, 2011, Princeton University  Photos: copyright Chika Okeke-Agulu
"Hands on the Freedom Plow", December 6, 2011, Princeton University

Terra Hunter, Judy Richardson, Dorothy Zellner, Martha Prescod Noonan, Betty Robinson, Janet Moses

Princeton students during the Q/A, December 6, 2011

Dr. Janet Moses

Dr. Janet Moses and Prof Imani Perry

Professor Terra Hunter, moderator

On December 15, The Center for African American Studies, Princeton University hosted a symposium by leading members of the historic Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the group of young, black and white men and women who, risking everything, went to the racial hot zones in Southern United States in the 1960s to participate in the movement that led to the desegregation of the South. These visionaries, these youths, many of them teenagers at the time, imagined a different country, and they worked for it, despite the threats to their lives, and the fears with which they lived daily. If they helped the Civil Rights movement succeed, it must be because of their grass roots mobilization--their "ground game", as the politicos would say--without which the endeavors of the "stars" of the age, might have come to naught. And if the present-day, somewhat inchoate "Occupy Movement" has one lesson to learn from SNCC, it is that they can camp as much as they wish in the gardens and parks of the cities and suburbs; but if they cannot go to the masses with their message and convince them of its justness and necessity, their effort will bear no edible or meaningful fruit.
What was remarkable, to me, was how the testimonies of these men echoed with amazing fidelity those of the SNCC women who had only a week before--on December 6, also at Princeton (at the presentation of their award-winning book Hands on the Freedom Plow)--made equally powerful presentations about their own experiences. For both the men and women, fear about their own personal safety was overwhelmed and numbed by the dread of what their fellow (black) citizens endured in the South--racial terrors and oppressions that had no place in their version of the American dream.And while not every one of them believed in the philosophy of non-violence, the decision to join SNCC meant that they all kept to the practice of non-violence, seeing in it a powerful weapon against a vastly more violent "enemy", the racist individuals, communities and state governments. Ah, the discipline, the courage. And they were young!

Imani Perry and Larry Rubin

Ivanhoe Donaldson and Eddie Glaude

Charlie Cobb

Courtland Cox, Ivanhoe Donaldson

Cornell West during the Q/A

Panelists with some members of audience after the conversation

Courtland Cox, Ivanhoe Donaldson
I learned so much listening to these men and women about the Civil Rights movement, and although I had to go watch again the monumental Eyes on the Prize documentary, nothing compared to the two winter evenings when I, as a student, listened to my elders speak of a time when the youths of America--not many of them, mind you--saved this country from the festering canker of its own sordid history. But as they all agreed, despite all that they and their mates in the Civil Rights Movement achieved, their work remains, alas, uncompleted. Just look at America today. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Christmas Carnage by Boko Haram

This is what these criminals, these animals called Boko Haram did to worshippers at the St. Teresa Catholic Church, Madalla, Nigeria on Christmas Day. The sickness of this entity called Nigeria gets worse. Optimism dies, again. Like Emmet Till's mother, I believe these images must be seen. Otherwise, it is impossible to imagine the blood-thirstiness of these present-day savages, or to understand the what President Jonathan means when he said, in response to the Christmas Day bombings, that Nigerians must wait patiently until the Boko Haram scourge "fizzles" out. Dare not to look.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Ayodele Jegede (In Memoriam)

How, tell me, does one say farewell to the future
When the night refuses to wake, terrified
by the dirge of prosthetic gods?

With these hands calloused by grief
With this heart bloated by sorrow, how
Tell me, does one bury a child?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Bishop and the "Witch for Christ"

It is old news that the proliferation of mega-churches and zillionaire televangelists in Nigeria and the third world is directly linked to the unrelenting pauperization of lower and middle classes. Thus it is no wonder that one of the visible outcomes of the IMF and World Bank imposed Structural Adjustment Programs of the 1980s was the rise of "prosperity churches" whose pastors project onto the mental screens of their impoverished members visions of miraculous riches...OK., I am going off on a tangent here. The thing is that I came across this video of a disturbing "deliverance" session in the church of Bishop Oyedepo, reputedly the wealthiest of Nigeria's super-rich pastors. Does the Nigerian law--any law--allow this man to abuse this hapless young woman in the way he does in this video? And to imagine that the congregation seems to have applauded his action. It says something about the power these men and women wield; they way they behave like despotic sovereigns, all in the name of Christ.
Just watch for yourself

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Lyrical Art of "Twin Poets"

I heard of the lyrical art of "Twin Poets" (Al and Nnamdi)--these two young Igbo-American poets whose work I knew nothing about until--just last week. And if this performance typifies their spoken word poetry, I would not mind listening to them all the time in saecula saeculorum

Remembering Biafra

The shame of Nigeria, and the world that supported its murderous campaign against Biafra (because of oil in the Niger Delta), is that decades after that war, not much has changed. Nigeria remains as divided, unworkable, precarious as it was in the months and years leading up to the genocide of the Igbo in Northern Nigeria in the summer of 1966. Ojukwu has done his work and moved on, but the spirit of Biafra lives.

The structurally insufficient entity called Nigeria lumbers on--denied of total collapse only by a criminally corrupt politically elite and global economic interests--leaving in its wake now-frequent stream of "sorrow, tears and blood."  It continues to be haunted by the restless spirits of dead Biafran children; children who, unlike me, could not survive the mass starvation campaign and bombings of Biafran hospitals and markets.

When, Nigeria, will be the day of atonement?  

Friday, December 2, 2011

POST-DOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP--Univ. of Witwatersrand

POST DOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP in the Centre for Creative Arts of Africa, University of the Witwatersrand.

We invite applications for a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Centre for the Creative Arts of Africa (CCAA) at the University if the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. The Centre is funded by the AW Mellon Foundation and will be situated in the Wits Art Museum. The Postdoctoral Fellow will work with the Chair in the Creative Arts of Africa (Director of the Centre) on research which will work outwards from the collections of historical and contemporary African arts in the Wits Art Museum. The collection contains not only visual arts, but also musical instruments and objects which are part of performance arts and dress repertoires. We are therefore looking for a fellow who has research experience in one or more of the following fields: African visual art, African music, African performance arts, African dress. The fellow will be required to do some teaching in the Wits School of Arts undergraduate programmes, and will be expected to participate in exhibitions and publications planned within the Wits Art Museum.
The Fellowship will be for a period of 20 months and will include a stipend, a shared office with own computer, library access and a small research grant per year. The fellowship will start in March/April 2012, and will end in December 2013.
Applications must be sent to Professor Anitra Nettleton and should include
title and abstract of the doctoral thesis,
copies of completed articles or published essays (if any)
the names and email addresses of two referees, one of whom should be the supervisor of the doctorate.

Submission deadline 31st January 2012

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu (1933-2011)

Kaemesia, Enyi Biafra!
Dike eji eje mba
Nwa Sir Louis-na-Nnewi
Odumegwu Ojukwu

Jee fụma, Odogwu Biafra!
Nwa amụlụ n'ego
Jelụ Sandhurst tute ugo
N’afa nd Naijiria

Ndụ mma, Ọchagha Biafra!
Jelu Aburi gwa Gowon
Na Igbo abụro osisi
Nụlụ na-aga egbu ya kwụlụ

Jee n'udo Ikemba Nnewi
Jee gwakwa nd ichie
na alụ Naijiria talụ any n’agha
ekwer any afụ ụz

Ma ka m jọkwan:
Onye ga-agg anyị?
Ka anyị a ga-atọzị
N’akwa ndeli?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

New York Times on Artur Walther's collection

Artur Walther has quietly built what might be the most important collection of African photography anywhere in the past decade or so. But only since last year when he opened his Collection's museum in Neue-Ulm, Germany and a project space in Chelsea, NY this year has he given the world the chance to appreciate the depth and breath of his photo collection (which apart from the African work is rich in contemporary Chinese photography). Just the other day when I visited him at his home in the company of Georgina Beier I was stunned by his as-yet-published collection of 19th and early 20th century photographs of Africans by Europeans. It would be great to see these in the context of an exhibition that might have the kind of images presented by Santu Mofokeng in his Black Photo Album (which Artur owns too) and other images by photographers such as Keita who he has collected in depth. Such a show will dramatize, in a spectacular fashion, the politics of subjectivity as they played out in photography during the colonial age. As it turned out, Artur is already thinking about such a project, and I look forward to it!
This article by the New York Times last week says something about the significance of the Walther Collection, and the positive impact his approach to collecting has had on artists like Jo Ractliffe (whose Nadir series of photomontage from the mid-1980s still give me the shivers) long-deserving of serious attention.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Video of "Environment and Object: Recent African Art" at Tang Museum

Here is a video of the Dunkerley Dialogue--the discussion panel organized as part of the opening of the exhbition, Environment and Object: Recent African Art, curated by Lisa Aronson and John Weber at Tang Museum of Art, Skidmore College.
Tang Museum | Resources | Video: Dunkerley Dialogue - Environment and Object - Recent African Art

Friday, October 7, 2011

Slavery Memorial Competition--Announcement

UNESCO and the Permanent Memorial Committee have just launched an international design competition for the creation of a Permanent Memorial at United Nations to the honour victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade during a press conference held on 30 September 2011 in New York.

The theme  for the competition: Acknowledging the Tragedy; Considering the Legacy; Lest We Forget. 
Open to: Artists, designers, sculptors and other visual arts professionals
Deadline: 19 December 2011 
The winner’s prize: USD 50,000

This competition falls within the framework of the International Year for People of African Descent and contribute in particular to the implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action
For details about the competition visit the UNESCO WEBSITE

Georgina Beier in Conversation with Chika Okeke-Agulu

Georgina Beier
is legendary for “teaching” first generation Oshogbo artists such as Twins Seven-Seven, Jimoh Buraimoh and Muraina Oyelami, who are among Africa’s best known modern artists. Beier’s work in Nigeria and Papua New Guinea has been of tremendous interest to Africanist art historians and visual culture scholars.

Longtime friend and student of her work, Chika Okeke-Agulu (Princeton) will explore important moments of Beier’s illustrious career and offer new insights into her art and relationship with African cultures, art and artists.

Saturday, October 15 @ 2 p.m.
Smithsonian National Museum of African Art
Lecture Hall, sublevel 2
950 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC
Take Metro to Smithsonian Station

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs (1955-2011) RIP

Tonight, a flash streaked
across distant skies
while we prayed

for a world made anew

This autumn night
our graveyard is buried
in ash and salt

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Okwui Enwezor Named 2012 Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professor @ IFA

Okwui Enwezor, curator, author and critic specializing in contemporary art, has been named the 2012 Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professor. His lecture series and course offerings will focus on contemporary African art, its development and narrative since the late 1970s, as well as exploring its presentation in both domestic and global contexts. He will be in residence at the IFA from January to May 2012.

            Mr. Enwezor was born in Nigeria and educated in the United States. As a student he studied political science but his interest in art led him into a career in the art world. He soon distinguished himself by bringing attention to contemporary African art history and advocating African artists under-represented in exhibitions, museum collections and in the global art market.
           His curatorial experience is extensive and noteworthy. Currently he is adjunct curator at the International Center for Photography in New York City. He has been named Director, Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany and will assume that post in October 2011. Previously, he was Artistic Director of Documenta 11, Kassel, Germany (1998–2002) and the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale (1996–1997), which famously issued an end to Apartheid from a cultural perspective. In addition, he has curated numerous exhibitions in some of the most distinguished museums around the world, including The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945–1994, which traveled to Museum Villa Stuck, Munich, Gropius Bau, Berlin, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and P.S.1 and Museum of Modern Art, New York.
           His most recent books include: Contemporary African Art Since 1980 (Bologna: Damiani, 2009) co-authored with Chika Okeke-Agulu; and Antinomies of Art and Culture: Modernity, Postmodernity, Contemporaneity (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008). He also continues to edit the influential tri-annual magazine, “NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art” that he founded in 1994.

The Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professorship
brings a distinguished scholar to the Institute each year to teach a course and give a series of public lectures in the area of contemporary art. The Professorship was endowed in 2006 by the late Professor Varnedoe’s friends and colleagues to honor and perpetuate his legacy of innovative teaching and to enhance the study and presentation of contemporary art at the Institute.

The Institute of Fine Arts has played a defining role in the disciplines of art history, archaeology, and conservation since its founding in 1932. It is unique in its integration of those fields and in its focus on research-led graduate teaching. Its range of interests and sphere of influence are international and interdisciplinary. With its close ties to the major museums and collections of New York City, its participation in NYU’s global network, and its excavations in Sicily, Egypt, Turkey, and Greece, the Institute offers a distinctive program of object-based study.

Press Contact: Hope O’Reilly

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Troy Davis(1968-2011)--RIP

The execution of Troy Davis tonight is, to me, a compelling reason why America needs to rethink its Justice System and the Death Penalty.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Petition to find rapists of a Nigerian student

There is a terrible video circulating in universities and colleges in Southern Nigeria, and on the web. It shows five young men violently raping a female student at Abia State University, Uturu. For more than one hour. These animals recorded their act, conveniently blurring their own faces, but not that of their victim. Her crime was, according the rapists, that she "insulted" one of them. She was therefore being taught a lesson with gang rape. I have heard the audio of this sordid crime. The victim knew some of her rapists, and called them by name. And the rapists inadvertently identified themselves on tape. Moreover, their voices are so clear anyone who knows them could easily identify the voices. Yet, the university authorities have, like the stupid ostrich buried their heads in the sand, denying knowledge of an incident that is out there on record. The State Government too has not taken any meaningful action to apprehend and bring the strongest possible arm of the law on these dastardly, arrogant, soulless criminals. Perhaps they are sons of prominent citizens; who knows. But the violation of this young woman cannot be allowed to go unpunished. It is not just one woman that has been violated by these five men; it is our humanity, and something drastic must be done about it. Otherwise, the Vice Chancellor of Abia State University, the Governor of Abia State, and the President of Nigeria (along with other persons in position of authority within these domains) will be held morally accountable to what has happened to this woman. The local and national government must show that they are on the side of this young, victimized citizen. She could be our daughter. And her cries will continue to tug at the conscience of our humanity, until the criminals are brought to book. My hope is that, ultimately, this case will shed light on the culture of unrelenting and brazen violence against women in contemporary Nigeria.

In the meantime, there is a petition drive at calling on the Abia State Government to investigate what ought to be an easy case, and quickly bring the criminals to justice.   To sign this petition, which is the least most of us can do, please click here.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Public Conversation with Georgina Beier

I am really looking forward to my public conversation with the legendary artist Georgina Beier next month at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. Saturday October 15. Should be fun, I hope!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Nka Roundtable IV

Begins in earnest. Keep tract of discussions by visiting the Nka Blog.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Thankfully, in this one instance,  ITN journalists saved the lives of these lucky Nigerian men. If the news crew had not been around nine more black bodies would have shown up the next day as deserter-victims of Gadhafi's terror regime:
Watch this:

Monday, August 29, 2011

Libyan "Rebels" and the unspoken murders of black men

Right from the beginning of the NATO-supported rebellion in Libya, I have been very skeptical of the propaganda of the whole campaign. I am not talking about the UN-mandate to "protect civilians" when in fact the unmentioned motive was to arm and strengthen the opposition forces in their war against Gaddafi's regime. (I would have thought that Gaddafi was enough of a bad guy that the Western powers and their supporters in the Arab League did not need to lie about their intention to remove the crazy megalomaniac).  But that is not what pisses me off. Rather, it is the concerted effort by the so-called international media to downplay and ignore the violence perpetrated against black people in Libya throughout the entire campaign to remove Gaddafi. To be sure, Gaddafi is a anti-black racist, even though he had to rely on poor, black migrant workers (who for the most part got stuck in Libya on their perilous, trans-Saharan-trans-Mediterranean journey to Europe) to fight his war of survival.
When at the beginning of the rebellion many black people in Libya were killed, harassed and tortured by the rebels and their sympathizers, very little of this news made it to CNN; even when it did, it was as an aside. After all it was a war between the good guys (NATO-supported rebels) and a Bad Guy. Apparently the NATO mandate to protect civilians did not include protecting the black civilians. But that was several months ago.
Then some days ago, after the rebels took Tripoli, grisly pictures of men executed with their hands tied to their back made the news. What was the story? Oh, of course the cruel Gaddafi and his murderous forces had summarily executed rebel "prisoners" just before fleeing his palatial redoubt. So if had anyone doubts about the justification for the rebellion and the NATO bombings, there was it! Just that freedom came too late for the murdered men.
Except that looking at many of the bodies, you could not mistake their blackness, the fact that these were more than likely members of Gaddafi's mercenary army we heard so much about but saw little of before now. So who killed them? Gaddafi that either paid or forced them to take up arms in defense of his regime? Did any journalist ask why on earth Gaddafi--who is still on the run and thus needs all the protection he could get for himself and his family suddenly--decided to bind and execute his mercenary protectors?Or is the media too willing to buy to story that these were deserters killed by the regime?
Mercenary soldiers captured by Libyan rebels (Photo: from
Even the Human Rights Watch mealy-mouthed and equivocated in the face of evidence so obvious. While they were quick to announce that Gaddafi murdered scores of rebel prisoners, they were conveniently still studying allegations of murders and human rights violation by the rebels. What about the news networks, and NATO's people? Have they as much as expressed anxiety (much less anger) about the fact that the Libyan rebels clearly rounded up the "despicable" black mercenaries captured in the battle of Tripoli and executed them? No. Surely they must be part of collateral damage no one, except the spineless African Union, can speak for.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

"Real Art Historians of New Jersey"

I have it on good authority--though my source wants to remain anonymous for the usual reasons--that three art historians (two based in New Jersey, and one from neighboring New York) have been signed on for the pilot of what might be a smash hit reality show to be called "The Real Art Historians of New Jersey." It's about time art (history) got into the lucrative reality business if you ask me. Because I am getting tired of this conference-classroom-gallery-museum-art fair hermetic, unreal world of art/history. We need a dose of, or it is a window to, the real. No? The question of course is this: Will a show like this cause a lot a damage to art history's already troubled reputation as an irrelevant, highly expendable discipline, or will it ensure more popular support for art and its institutions? As for its entertainment quotient, thankfully art history has enough colorful, goofy, smart, buffed, sassy, foulmouthed, cameraphilic characters to make other fake "Real XYZ of ABCs" or the stupidly good old "Jersey Shore"  seem like civic infomercials! I hope they will throw in some high-flying artist, curator and collector characters to heat up the whole thing. If I were a consultant, I could recommend quite a few to the casting director!
Can't wait to see the show which I understand will be available on basic cable tv. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Nka Roundtable IV: Independent Art Centers in Africa

The fourth installment of the Nka Roundtables which focuses on independent art centers in Africa will commence by August 29. Participants include the founders and directors of some of the best known and most active contemporary art centers in West, East, North and Southern Africa. The roundtable will be an opportunity to discuss, debate and examine the necessity of these centers, the challenges of establishing and operating such initiatives in Africa, the difference such programs have or can make within their local environments, opportunities of international networking, questions of sustainability and funding, the place of contemporary art in their locales, global pressures and opportunities, art and national identity, and relationship between such initiatives and local art industries/markets.

Chika Okeke-Agulu, Princeton University

Koyo Kouoh, Raw Materials Company, Dakar
Abdellah Karroum, L’Appartement 22, Rabat
Gabi Ngcobo, Centre for Historical Re-enactments, Jo’burg 
Marilyn Douala-Bell, Doual’Art, Douala
Bassam El Baroni, Alexandria Contemporary Art Forum
Mia Jankowicz, Contemporary Image Collective, Cairo
Jimmy Ogonga, Centre for Contemporary Art of East Africa, Nairobi
Moataz Nasr, Darb 1718, Center for Contemporary Art and Culture Center, Cairo

Make sure to join the discussions at Nka Journal Blog next week!

Photos of African Sky--announcement

ARE YOU in AFRICA?  Become a member of the Africa Stargazers education project of The National Museum of African Art in Washington DC. 

We’re preparing to open a new exhibition, African Cosmos in June 2012, and  I ‘m creating a photo-sharing site for the exhibit - are there any photos of the African Night Sky you would like to share? 

The African Cosmos exhibit will emphasize that astronomy is a human, therefore, global endeavor, and will place Africa as a vital part of a broader global discourse on the artistic, cultural and scientific dimensions of celestial observation.  Key components: Moon, Stars, Sun, and celestial phenomena – lightening, rainbows, eclipses. Let us know the time and largest city near you so we can track them. Post on our Facebook page at:  Africa Stargazers

Maybe you can organize a flash mob of people to snap photos at the same time, different locations and all send them too?  Take a picture of the night sky in the next few days, and post it to our group and let’s see where we can go! 
Please post your photos at this Flickr site   
From: Deborah Stokes 
Date: August 21, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Curatorial Position at Newark Museum


Assistant/Associate Curator, Arts of Africa
The Assistant/Associate Curator, Arts of Africa is a newly created curatorial position with a strong emphasis on interpretation, reporting to the Senior Curator, Department of the Arts of Africa and the Americas/Curator, Arts of Africa and also working closely with the Museum’s Education department.  The selected candidate must have expertise in African art and will work with the permanent collection to foster the educational mission of the museum. In collaboration with Education staff, the Assistant/Associate Curator’s primary responsibility is to expand the understanding and appreciation of the Museum’s collection and to ensure the most effective interpretative program and its integration into teaching. The Assistant/Associate Curator will be responsible for the cataloguing of the collection and will promote knowledge of the collection through exhibitions, publications and educational programs that inform the public, students and scholars.

  • Conducts research on and documents the Museum’s collection of African art, including the compilation of records for cataloguing and object identification, and works with the Registrars department to ensure collection records are accurate and up-to-date.
  • Works with Education department staff to develop and implement wide range of interpretative programs based on the collection. Disseminates research on the collection through publications (including exhibition labels, gallery guides, catalogue entries and articles) and educational programs, such as lectures, symposia, docent training, and gallery talks. Fosters integration of Museum’s collection into teaching by working with Education staff within the museum and by developing collaborative relationships based on teaching from the collection with outside institutions, including local universities (Rutgers, Seton Hall, etc.)
  • Working under the direction of the Senior Curator and in collaboration with other relevant departments within the Museum (Education, Exhibitions, Registrar, Marketing and Development), contributes to the development and execution of exhibitions drawn from the Museum’s collection as well as loan exhibitions.
  • Working with Senior Curator, contributes to the support of development activities, including assisting in writing grant proposals and other fund-raising activities and engaging collectors and donors to develop the collection
  • Serves as supervisor to curatorial interns
  • Contributes to scholarship in area of specialty through participation in outside symposia and publications.

  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships, both one-on-one and in a team situation, and a commitment to collaboration
  • Ability to communicate effectively and in a professional manner, both verbally and in writing.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Self-directed; ability to take initiative and anticipate actions as needed.
  • Attention to detail and ability to conceptualize steps involved in implementing programs as well as to see the big picture
  • Excellent computer and organizational skills

  • Ph.D. in art history, anthropology or museum/curatorial studies with focus on African art required.
  • Preferred: one to three years related professional experience (museum or university setting).
  • Art museum, research institute, or university teaching experience required.

POSITION LEVEL:  Assistant or Associate Curator.  Level commensurate with experience and qualifications.

COMPENSATION:  Competitive with excellent benefits package.

Interested candidates should forward their resume with cover letter by September 23, 2011 to:   
                Human Resources
                The Newark Museum   
                49 Washington Street
                Newark, NJ  07102
                Fax:  (973) 645-0306

Friday, August 12, 2011

Announcement: ACLS fellowship competition for Africa-based scholars

The American Council of Learned Societies is happy to announce that application materials for the 2011-12 African Humanities Program fellowship competitions are now available online.  

To download the application documents, and for further information on this year's competition, please visit the program website at 

Please note that a list of the 2010-11 AHP Awardees is now also available on our website.

The application deadline has been moved forward this year to November 1, 2011. Applications may be submitted via email or by post. Late applications will not be accepted.

We encourage everyone to spread the word about this year's competition and to contact ACLS with any questions about the application process. Queries can be directed to 

The African Humanities Program provides fellowships for scholars in the humanities who are nationals of sub-Saharan African countries. Dissertation fellowships to support the final year of writing are available to scholars to scholars affiliated with institutions of higher education and research in Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda. Postdoctoral fellowships are available to early-career scholars affiliated with institutions in Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, and South Africa. The African Humanities Program supports research in any humanistic discipline, and invites applications from scholars working in any field in the humanities. 

Eszter Csicsai, Program Associate
African Humanities Program
American Council of Learned Societies
633 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017-6795
Tel.: 212.697.1505 x 135
Fax: 212.949.8058

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Unfolding catastrophe in the Horn of Africa

Yes, there is so much trouble in the world today, such that news of mass starvation and death in Africa does not shock anymore. And yes, there is the usual--sometimes justified--criticism of western aid (so powerfully articulated by Dambisa Moyo in her book Dead Aid), because it in fact contributes in the long term pauperization of aid-dependent societies. But the unfolding human catastrophe in the Hrn of Africa, a region debilitated by the worst famine in more than half century is enough to lose all sense of optimism about the future of mankind. It requires drastic action. From Somalia, a classic failed state terrorized by Islamist groups, criminal gangs and corrupt, feckless politicians, there is news of thousands of children dying of malnutrition  (some reports say as many as 600,000 will likely die if food and medicine aid does not reach them in weeks). And the aid is not forthcoming...

Which is why the new video produced by the estate of Bob Marley (the ever-living prophet of the downtrodden)  in partnership with Chris Blackwell of Island Music to call attention to the East African crisis is a must-see. Watch the video, and do something. Let's talk about the evils of aid later, perhaps with the survivors. After all, if it weren't from the corn meal, dried milk and corned beef from Caritas, I, a Biafran child, might not have survived to write this.

Here is the Bob Marley-Save the Children Video