Key Research Interests and Expertise

  • Heritage, art and postcolonial memory
  • Masquerading, performance and intangible heritage
  • Museums, materiality, time and temporality
  • Art, aesthetics and performance
  • Archive and Utopia

Current Research Projects

  • For several years I have researched how art, performance and memory intersect in museums, memorials and heritage. In my research in Senegal, I have addressed performance and intangible heritage in a context of post-colonial nation-building in which the legacies of slavery and colonialism are still prevalent and inform postcolonial memory.
  • Researching heritage in Senegal, I have found it to be framed by pan-African ideologies. My most recent research papers address the complex legacy of pan-Africanism in the current context of Afro-optimism. How is Pan-Africanism recycled and how is it given new relevance in the postcolony. In 2011 I was awarded a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship to complete a monograph on this subject.
  • As a result of my interests in contemporary art and memory, I am increasingly drawn to the ways in which artists work in the archive. As a metaphor for systems for the storage of documents and traces of the past, I have started to explore contemporary postcolonial artists work within the archive. Such archival work is often presented as a critique of the colonial archive and meant to open postcolonial futures. I am Principal Investigator of an AHRC Research Network on Utopian Archives: Excavating Pasts for Postcolonial Futures.

Research Grants

  • The Pan-African Heritage of Senegal. British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship, award reference: MD120035.
  • Utopian Archives: Excavating Pasts for Postcolonial Futures. Principal Investigator, AHRC Research Network Grant, award reference: AH/J006122/1.
  • The Aesthetics of Modernity and Postcolonial Citizenship in Senegal. The Royal Academy, award reference: SG102029.
  • The Staged Nation: Heritage and Memory in Postcolonial Senegal. Arts and Humanities Research Council, award reference: AH/F013116/1.
  • The Public Past: Memory and Heritage in Postcolonial Senegal. Economic and Social Research Council, award reference: RES-000-22-0735.
  • History, Heritage and Memory: Politics of the Past in Senegal. The British Academy, award reference: SG-36720.




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