Steven Nelson, associate professor of art history, will be in residence at Harvard University’s Hutchins Center for the 2014-15 academic year as the distinguished Cohen Fellow in Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute. An authority in African and African American art, Nelson will be working on his upcoming book, “Mapping Blackness in African and Afro-Atlantic Art.”
Nelson, who joined UCLA’s faculty in 2000, is a contributing editor for African Arts and former reviews editor for Art Journal. He serves as president of the Arts Council of the African Studies Association, treasurer of the National Committee for the History of Art, and a member of the General Assembly of the Comité international d'histoire de l'art. Nelson is also the author of the award-winning “From Cameroon to Paris: Mousgoum Architecture in and out of Africa” (University of Chicago Press, 2007) and co-editor of the exhibition catalogue, “New Histories” (The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, 1996).
His writings on the contemporary and historic arts, architecture and urbanism of Africa and its diasporas, African American art history, and queer studies have appeared in anthologies and exhibition catalogues as well as in African Arts, Architecture New York (ANY), Art Bulletin, Artforum, Art Journal, Documents, Journal of Homosexuality, Museums International, New Formations, and Politique Africaine. Professor Nelson has received Fellowships from the Getty Research Institute and Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
Nelson earned his B.A. in studio art from Yale University and his A.M. and Ph.D. in art and architectural history from Harvard University. He previously taught at Tufts University and Wellesley College.
The W. E. B. Du Bois Institute, originally created in 1975 as the Du Bois Research Institute, has annually appointed scholars who conduct individual research for a period of up to one academic year in a variety of fields within African and African American Studies. It is now at the heart of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. Du Bois Research Institute fellows participate in a range of activities of the Institute including colloquia, public conferences, lectures, readings, and workshops.