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Stacey Kennedy

Languages and Literature, University of Birmingham

Thesis title:

Women's agency in the African Contemporary Art World; exploring Nigerian art networks

Research Area

  • Languages and Literature


Kennedy, S (2021) Building global art infrastructure from Nigeria: ART X Lagos and Lagos Biennial 2019 “We Are Our Own Sun”, E-rea http://journals.openedition.org/erea/12950

PODCAST The Africa Collection (formerly the Danford Collection) at University of Birmingham, collecting African art and artefacts and decolonisation. CLICK TO LISTEN TO PODCAST

Review of “Paul Mpagi Sepuya”: ‘between desired object and desiring subject’ 16/12/2020  Africa in Words 20120 CLICK TO READ REVIEW

Talking #Africadia and Afropolitanism: An Interview with Artist Siwa Mgoboza 07/02/2019 Africa in Words 2019 CLICK TO READ INTERVIEW 

Researcher for: Francis Davis, E Murangira and M Daehnhardt (2019) Ageing in Rwanda – challenges and opportunities for church, state and nation. Teddington/Birmingham: Tearfund and University of Birmingham 



Black History Month lecture: Search and Research - Clara Ugbodaga-Ngu, celebrating a pioneer of Nigerian modernism https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/historycultures/departments/dasa/news/2021/looking-for-women-in-the-danford-collection.aspx


Conference/ roundtable organiser, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, Let's Talk: Art Museums and Contemporary Collecting Practices (online)


Conference panel co-convener, Association for Art History, Global Art History and the Imbalance of Power (online)


Presented paper, Association for Art History 2021, Unsettling the archive: Women and the Danford Collection (online)


LUCAS 'Creative Africas, Contemporary Africas' Leeds University, UK

 Africa Rising, African Nostalgia: two narratives around African contemporary art at Bonhams Auction House in London


Global Urbanism workshop, University of Birmingham, UK

 Art infrastructure in African urban spaces


New Voices in Postcolonial Studies: Interdisciplinary Imaginations, Critical Confrontations, Leeds University, UK

 Women’s agency in the African Contemporary Art World: exploring Afropolitan art networks


Public Engagement & Impact

Field Visits:

February 2019 Marrakech and Casablanca, Morrocco

May 2019 New York, USA

August 2019 Florence and Venice, Italy

October 2019 Lagos, Nigeria

Teaching experience

I have taught undergraduate modules across Art History, African Studies and Anthropology (DASA) and the History department at University of Birmingham. These include:

  • Teaching Associate (Art History) ‘Historical Concepts’ and ‘Debates and Methods’
  • Teaching Associate (DASA) ‘Kinship, Gender and Sexuality’ and ‘From Colony to Nation (Ghana)'
  • Guest lecturer (Art History) ‘Global Art’ – African contemporary Art and the Danford Collection' and ‘Political Art'- Nigerian modern and contemporary art'
  • Teaching Associate and lecturer (History) ‘The History of Africa and its Diaspora’

I teach secondary school students with the Brilliant Club, a charity which raises University aspiration among under represented groups. I am passionate about working with young students to highlight the diversity of ‘Africa’ and break down negative stereotypes through contemporary art.

Other Research Interests

I completed a research placement to investigate five individual women who donated art works and artefacts to the Danford Collection: a unique archive of material culture held by Research and Cultural Collections and the Department of Anthropology and African Studies at the University of Birmingham. This research involves archival research into files held by the Cadbury Research Library, database interrogation and physical object engagement with the collection, as well as interviewing primary sources and the donors themselves (where possible!) This exciting research sheds light on collecting practices around the material culture of West Africa, in particular Nigeria; the structure of the African art world in the recent past; women’s agency within that art world and the reasons why women may have collected and donated art. Biographies were produced for three of the women: Jill Salmons, Lalage Bown and Sister Evelyn Bellamy.


Research Curate Steering Group member

H-AfrARts network editor

Judge on the panel of LESLAN art prize in Niger https://leslan.org/prix/

Researcher in Residence, Research and Cultural Collections