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Shaheen Merali

Cultural and Museum Studies, Coventry University

Thesis title:

Shifting Paradigms of race and self-institutionalisation: The role of political Black in de-canonisation and decolonisation of art history in late 80s Britain

The overall methodological approach is to endeavour to pin down the work undertaken by artists and cultural practitioners that made it a critical decade.  The 1980s have taken a few decades to comprehend.  It seems the decade has somehow hidden itself and I have started to conclude that it has been less of a beginning or an ending but more of a midpoint, a fulcrum, a memory of being besides, and, more recently, a longing as I stray back into its folds as a researcher.


The 1980s became known for defying attitudes.  I am interested in how it shaped both my attitudes, and those of an ambitious group of artists. The approach of this study understands the multiple strands of life experiences, successfully addressed by multiple campaigns that were initiated in the 1980s and how they became part of our philosophy and work.

Research Area

  • Cultural and Museum Studies
  • Museum and Gallery Studies