Nikki A. Greene, Ph.D. | Assistant Professor of the Arts of Africa and the African Diaspora, Department of Art, Wellesley College
Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Art History and Africana Studies, Newhouse Center for the Humanities, Wellesley College (2011-2013)
Nikki A. Greene received her Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Delaware in 2010. Dr. Greene examines African American and African identities, the body, feminism, and music in modern and contemporary art. Before her arrival at Wellesley, she held the Barra Foundation Fellowship in the Center for American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art to catalogue the African American art collections. She also taught at Swarthmore College, Temple University, Moore College of Art and Design, and Rutgers University at Camden. In January 2013, she gave a series of lectures on African Art at the Alle School of Fine Arts and Design at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia.
Dr. Greene has investigated the significance of music in her research, jazz in particular, in the work of artists such as Aaron Douglas, Moe Brooker, and Radcliffe Bailey. Her book project, Postmodern Invisibility: The Rhythm of Glue, Grease, and Grime in Contemporary African American Art shows how artists use physical, sometimes metonymic, references in order to lessen the negative impact of stereotypes of African Americans. By examining how discourses such as music, literature and visual culture operate in concert with the cultural associations of the materials used by artists, she identifies these discourses as noteworthy conduits through which the artists’ bodily presences prevail. Building upon these previous investigations into the aural possibilities of the visual, she treats the art of Renée Stout through the lens of funk music in a forthcoming article in a special edition of the American Studies Journal on funk titled, “Fetishizing the Funk: The Feminist Funk Power of Betty Davis and Renée Stout.” Other recent publications include catalogue essays on Ellen Gallagher’s Abu Simbel (2005-06) and Radcliffe Bailey’s Echo (2011) for the exhibition A Generous Medium: Photography at Wellesley College, 1972-2012, and “Artists’ Utopia? Cuban Art Defined at the Eleventh Havana Biennial” in the Delaware Review of Latin American Studies (December 2012). Dr. Greene muses about her academic interests, travel, and the challenges of the work-life balance on this blog.
Nikki A. Greene, “Radcliffe Bailey’s Soundscapes,” April 18, 2012. Collins Theater, Wellesley College.