Office Location: 2057 Portland Ave 102AA
B.A., The University of Iowa; M.A., Tulane University; Ph.D., Indiana University-Bloomington
Africa and the African Diaspora
Heather Shirey has conducted research in Brazil with a specific focus on art, politics and identity construction in the African-Brazilian religion Candomblé. Her current research projects in the African Diaspora involve a comparative study of the central position of material culture in identity politics and spiritual practices. She is also actively involved in research on textiles and identity in contemporary Ghana.
Recent presentations and publications:
"Defining Diaspora: A Visual Cultural Perspective," Panel co-chair and presenter on "(Re)Claiming African in the Diaspora," the ACASA-sponsored panel at College Art Association Annual Meeting, Dallas, February 2008.
Review of Santería Enthroned: Art, Ritual, and Innovation in an Afro-Cuban Religion by David H. Brown and The Yoruba Diaspora in the Atlantic World edited by Toyin Falola and Matt D. Childs. African Arts, Winter 2007.
"Understanding Religious Juxtapositions through Material Culture: Candomblé, Santería and Vodou Altars in a Cross-Cultural Perspective," 1st International Conference on Afro-Hispanic Studies Across the Disciplines, Accra, Ghana, August 2007.
"(Re)Claiming Africa in the Diaspora," Chair and discussant. Arts Council of the African Studies Association 14th Triennial Conference. Gainesville, March 2007.
"Idols on Altars and Idols in the Closet: Syncretism and Art in African-Brazilian Candomblé," Poster Session, College Art Association Annual Conference, Boston, February 2006.
"Seeing Slavery," Session Chair, College Art Association Annual Conference, Atlanta, February 2005.
"The Power of Images in Sacred Spaces and the City Streets: Candomblé Art in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil," Paper presentation, College Art Association Annual Conference, New York City, February 2003.
"Candomblé Beads and Expression of Identity in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil," Paper presentation, African Studies Association Annual Conference, Washington, D. C., December 2002.