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African textiles and fashion. Contemporary and historical African and African-heritage art. Local art forms in global perspective. South Asian and Islamic Art. Modesty Fashion. Art around the Indian Ocean and around the Atlantic Ocean. Etc.
I provide talks for museums, cultural and heritage organisations, and any other group. I also give guest lectures and courses at universities and speak regularly at (international) conferences.
I am setting up art history courses for the general public and provide art history workshops at Embrace Arts in Leicester. Just email me if you want to be kept updated.
National and International Engagement (selection since 2007, full list available on request)
August 2017 Politics of Kente Dress in Africa. Paper on the panel Clothing Creativity: The Politics of Innovation organised by Dr. Victoria L. Rovine. 17th ACASA Triennial Symposium on African Art (Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon, August 8-13, 2017) [forthcoming]
May 2017 Invited lecture ‘African Textiles’ on the V&A Year Course, Textiles: Ancient to Modern, at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. [forthcoming]
December 2016 Invited talk ‘Kente cloth: social context and political power in and beyond Ghana’, part of event programme of exhibition Inventions of colour. Celebrating inventions of black people, Gateway College, Leicester, 8 December 2016.
November 2016 Guest lecture ‘A Textile to Wear: Kente Cloth from Ghana and Togo’ for Traditions of Africa Short Course at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 9 November 2016.
June 2016 Organiser and presenter on Study Day ‘Islamic Textiles, Dress and Fashions’ for the Specialist Subject Network Islamic Art and Material Culture, New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester, 30 June 2016.
January 2016 Research trip to India to develop contacts with and explore the work of contemporary artists in Mumbai, Baroda and New Delhi (including visits to the India Art Fair, the Mumbai Gallery weekend, the Faculty of Fine Arts, MSU Baroda, and several studio visits).
June 2015 Two conference papers and additional research on contemporary Nigerian artists. ‘Kente from production to export: a case study’ and ‘Try to Wear an El Anatsui. It Does Not Work. The relationship between El Anatsui’s work and West African Textiles’. Anya Fulu Ugo African Arts Conference, Interdisciplinary African Arts Conference, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, 24-27 June 2015. Funded by the ArtFund UK (Jonathan Ruffer Curatorial Grant).
Sept 2014 Conference Paper and Panel Convener. ‘What Does It Represent: 19th century Kente Cloth in European Collections. Fourteenth ASAUK Conerence (African Studies Association UK). University of Sussex, Brighton.
March 2014 Conference Paper and Panel participant. ‘Global Trade of 19th century textiles on the Gold and Slave Coast’. Sixteenth ACASA Triennial Symposium on African Art. Arts Council of the African Studies Association. Brooklyn Museum, New York.
February 2014 Three guest lectures on African Textiles; South Asian Textiles; and Curatorial Insight on Caring for Textile Collections. Faculty of Art, Design and Humanities. De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.
Nov 2013 Conference paper. ‘Ghanaian Fashion and the interplay between African and National Notions of Heritage’. Non-Western Fashion Conference. London College of Fashion. University of the Arts London.
October 2013 Commissioned talk. ‘Ewe Textiles, Weaving Techniques and Social Use’. Braid Society, UK.
March 2013 Invited research seminars. ‘Ewe textiles as a historical source’ and ‘Kente, Technology, and Social Context. École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. Paris
May 2011 Invited lecture. ‘Suits and Saris. The Globalization of Fashion in Leicester’. Research Seminar, De Montfort University, Leicester.
March 2011 Conference Paper and Panel participant. ‘The Globalization of Fashion: the Importance of British East African Asians’. Fifteenth Triennial Symposium on African Art. Africa and Its Diasporas in the Market Place: Cultural Resources and the Global Economy. University of California, Los Angeles. Conference Paper and Panel participant.
July 2010 Conference paper. ‘The Role of East African Asians in Global Fashion Connections between Britain and India: Report on a Research Project and Prospective Exhibition (2012)’. One-day colloquium. Tatu: Visual Traditions of East Africa. Pitts Rivers Museum, Oxford.
Sept 2009 Public lecture. ‘Kente Journey Worldwide’. New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester.
June 2009 Invited lecture. ‘Indian Textiles in New Walk Museum and Art Gallery’. Central Library, Leicester.
Dec 2008 Conference paper. ‘Challenged past and the museum: the case of Ghanaian Kente’. Material Culture Conference. Museum Studies, University of Leicester.
June 2008 Public lecture. ‘Gujarat Embroidery from India, Memories from Leicester’. New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester.
March 2009 Public lecture. ‘Weaving Creativity: Ghanaian Textiles’. New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester.
Dec 2007 Invited lecture. ‘Colour Splendour: Textiles in West Africa’. central library, Leicester.