We are thrilled to share the news that Dr. Prita Meier will be joining our department in Fall 2018 (after a fellowship year at CASVA, Washington, DC) as one of the College’s three Mellon Urban Humanities appointments. Dr. Meier comes to us from the School of Art + Design, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she was an assistant professor of African Art.
Dr. Meier’s research focuses on the arts and architectures of East African port cities and histories of transcontinental exchange and conflict. She is the recent author of Swahili Port Cities: The Architecture of Elsewhere (2016) and has published widely in the journals Art history, African Arts, NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art, Artforum, and Arab Studies Journal. She has also contributed to several exhibition catalogues and edited books. She is now working on a new book about the social and aesthetic history of photography in Zanzibar and Mombasa and is co-organizing an exhibition and edited volume titled World on the Horizon: Swahili Arts Across the Indian Ocean, a project supported by a 2016-17 NEH Humanities Project Grant. She has held fellowships at the Clark Art Institute (2014-15), Cornell University’s Society for the Humanities (2009-10), and Johns Hopkins University (2007-8).
Dr. Meier’s arrival will allow us to offer new courses on African art and “oceanic modernisms” that will further globalize our curriculum, broadening and enriching our geographic and chronological scope in all sorts of exciting ways. No less promising are the potential connections that our new colleague will no doubt will forge with the College’s program in African and Africana Studies.