Nikki A. Greene, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of the Arts of Africa and the African Diaspora in the Art Department at Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts | Visual Arts Editor, Transition 

Nikki A. Greene, Ph.D. received her BA with honors in Art History from Wesleyan University, and her Masters and Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Delaware. Dr. Greene examines African American and African diaspora identities, the body, feminism, abstraction, and music in modern and contemporary art. She is the Visual Arts Editor of Transition, published by the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University (Indiana University Press).

Dr. Greene joined the faculty of Wellesley College as an Assistant Professor in the Art Department in 2013. She has traveled throughout the United States and internationally, including to Chile, England, Italy, and South Africa, to deliver lectures on the Arts of the African diaspora. 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. She is the recipient of the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Art and Africana Studies at Wellesley College, the Woodrow Wilson Career Advancement Fellowship, and the Richard D. Cohen Fellowship at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. She was an artist-in-residence at the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming in spring 2019. See the ARTnews announcement: “Ucross Foundation Names Artists in Residence for Spring 2019.”

Her forthcoming book, Grime, Glitter, and Glass: The Body and The Sonic in Contemporary Black Art  (Duke University Press, under contract) presents a new interpretation of the work of Renée Stout, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, and Radcliffe Bailey, and considers the intersection between the body, black identity, and the sonic possibilities of the visual using key examples of painting, sculpture, photography, performance, and installation. She was shortlisted for the 2018 Creative Capital Warhol Art Writers Grant.

Greene’s latest publications include:  “Vibrations in the Soul: Moe Brooker’s Sacred Paintings,” in Panorama: Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art (Summer 2018); “Riffing the Index: Romare Bearden and the Hand of Jazz,” in Music, Art and Performance From Liszt to Riot Grrrl: The Musicalisation of Art, edited by Diane Silverthorne (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018); and “Habla LAMADRE: María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Carrie Mae Weems, and Black Feminist Performance,” in Beyond the Face: New Perspectives on Portraiture, edited by Wendy Wick Reeves (Giles, Ltd. in association with the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, 2018). Visit “Publications” for an extended bibliography.

Nikki A. Greene is originally from Newark, NJ, and she lives with her husband and two children in Massachusetts. Greene’s summer 2016 blog post “Eating Ice Cream While Black (Or My Life in Wellesley, Mass)” on microaggressions received local and national attention and was featured on WBUR Boston’s Cognescenti and on Radio Boston to discuss “The Challenge of Raising Kids of Color in a Homogenous Community.” She “muses” here about her scholarly interests, travel, and the challenges of the work-life balance.

Recent & Upcoming Events

“’This was my body’: The (In)Visibility of Thomas McKellar in the art of John Singer Sargent.” Invited Lecturer. For the Boston’s Apollo exhibition, opening in February 2020. The Isabella Gardner Museum. April 2, 2020

Visual Aesthetic Musicality: Sonic Associations in Black Art.” Robert E. & Avis Tarrant Burke Lecture Series, 2019-2020. Department of Art History. Indiana University. March 27, 2020.

Handmade Photography Today Symposium. The Davis Museum & the Photographic Resource Center. Moderator. Wellesley, MA. March 7, 2020.

Photo by Nikki A. Greene.

“The Performance Art Syllabus.” Performing Missing Narratives: Representation, Diversity, and Museums. Colloquium convened by Cheryl Finley and Dorothy Moss. The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA. November 20-21, 2019.

“Scholar to Scholar: Kimberly Juanita Brown and Nikki A. Greene in Conversation.” On the occasion of the “Nine Moments For Now” exhibition curated by Dell M. Hamilton. The Ethelbert Cooper Gallery. Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. January 2019. Photos by Melissa Blackall.

Nikki A. Greene with WBUR’s Radio Boston host, Meghna Chakrabarti.

August 3: Radio Boston: “Eating While Black: Smith College Employee Reported Student Who ‘Seemed Out Of place.’” Guest appearance with Gelonnie Smith, graduate of Smith College and past co-chair of the school’s Black Student Alliance. August 3, 2018.

November 15 at 6 p.m.: It is better to speak of remembering. Panel discussion for the exhibition Alexandria Smith: A Litany for Survival. Faye G., Jo, and James Stone Gallery. 

This panel explores the complex cultural positionality of Black female subjectivity. Approached through an interdisciplinary lens, participants will speak to the experiences and histories of Black women and how these concepts relate to themes present in the exhibition.

Participants include:
Tomashi Jackson, Visual Artist
Ja’Tovia Gary, Artist, filmmaker and 2018-2019 Radcliffe-Harvard Film Study Center Fellow
Nikki A. Greene, Assistant Professor of Art History, Department of Art, Wellesley College
Nontsikelelo Mutiti, Interdisciplinary artist, educator and Assistant Professor in Graphic Design, Virginia Commonwealth University
Moderated by Alexandria Smith

Alexandria Smith: A Litany for Survival ~ November 8, 2018–January 27, 2019 Opening Reception: Sat., Nov. 10 @ 5:00-7:00 | Stone Gallery | 855 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston. Tuesday–Sunday from 12 to 6 p.m.

For other events, visit “What’s Next?”

All content copyright. All rights reserved.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: