Heather M. Shirey portrait

Heather M. Shirey

Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
Degree
B.A., University of Iowa
M.A., Tulane University
Ph.D., Indiana University
Office
44 N. Cleveland Ave.
Phone
(651) 962-5572
Toll Free
(800) 328-6819, Ext. 2-5572
Mail
44C

Specialization: Africa and the African Diaspora

Heather Shirey’s research focuses on art the African Diaspora in South America, North America, Europe, and Asia. In Brazil, her work examines art, politics and identity construction in the African-Brazilian religion Candomblé as well as the role of photography as it relates to race and regional identity from the 19th century to the present day. Her work of the African Diaspora in Great Britain examines dialogues about a diverse British identity as constructed through public art projects such as Yinka Shonibare’s Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle. In the United States, Dr. Shirey is especially interested in the work of contemporary multi-media artist Magdalena Campos-Pons and her investigation of intersecting identities. Her new research, inspired by a Fulbright semester at Tsinghua University in Beijing, focuses on the representation of Africa in contemporary China. 

Recent Publications

“What does the Baiana really have? The Baiana and African-Brazilian Identity,” submitted to Axé Bahia: The Power of Art in an Afro-Brazilian Metropolis, catalogue for 2017 exhibition developed by Patrick Polk at the Fowler Museum, UCLA.

[Review of Capone, Stefania. Searching for Africa in Brazil: Power and Tradition in Candomblé.] H-AfrArts, H-Net Reviews.March 2013. URL: https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=33075

“Constructing Meaning: Candomblé Beads and Identity in Salvador da Bahia Brazil.”  (Nova Religio, volume 16.1, August 2012). http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/nr.2012.16.issue-1

“Meticulous Production and the Embodiment of History: María Magdalena Campos-Pon’s My Mother Told Me I Am Chinese Series,” in Vanessa K. Valdés, ed. The Future is Now: A New Look at African Diaspora Studies. (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012).

“Ancestry, Art and Commodity: María Magdalena Campos-Pons’s My Mother Told Me I Am Chinese series,” Conference Proceedings from “Let Spirit Speak! Cultural Journeys through the African Diaspora.” (SUNY Press, 2012). http://muse.jhu.edu/books/9781438442198/

“María Magdalena Campos-Pons: New Investigations into Diasporic Identity and History, Review of Life Has Not Even Begun, new work by María Magdalena Campos-Pons at Glass Curtain Gallery, Columbia College, Chicago, January 26-March 6 2009.” African Arts. 43:4 (Winter 2010), 84-86.

[Review of Beatriz Góis Dantas, Nagô Grandma and White Papa: Candomblé and the Creation of Afro-Brazilian Identity]. Journal of Folklore Research Reviews, http://www.indiana.edu/~jofr/review.php?id=990, May 18, 2010.

 “Transforming the Orixás: Candomblé in Sacred and Secular Spaces in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil” African Arts. 42:2, Winter 2009, 62-79. http://www.mitpressjournals.org/toc/afar/42/4

 “Dialogue Essay: Dreams of Home in Expanding Diasporas,” African Arts. 42:2 (Summer 2009), 7-11.

Recent Research Presentations

Ironbridge International Institute for Culture Heritage Urban Heritage Conference, “Representing Resistance to Slavery in the Urban Landscape: Memorials in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil,” Paper presentation, Taipei, Taiwan, March 2015.

Association for the Worldwide Study of the African Diaspora Conference, “Yinka Shonibare’s Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle and London’s African Diaspora,” Paper presentation, Charleston, November 2015.

Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage Transatlantic Dialogues on Cultural Heritage Conference, “Pierre Verger, Photography, and Transatlantic Dialogues,” Paper presentation, Liverpool, England, July 2015.

Latin American Studies Association Annual Conference, “The Image of the Baiana in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil,” Paper presentation, San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 2015.

Royal Anthropological Institute Anthropology and Photography Conference, “Pierre Verger and the Construction of Purity in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil,” Paper presentation, London, May 2014.

African Studies Association Annual Conference, “Exhibiting Benin Court Art in London: Three Case Studies,” Paper presentation, Baltimore, November 2013.

International American Studies Association Conference, “Pierre Verger’s Candomblé Imagery in A Cigarra,” Paper presentation, Rio de Janeiro, July 2011.

Arts Council of the African Studies Association Triennial Symposium, “Pierre Verger and the Creation of Candomblé Nagô’s Canonical Imagery,” Paper presentation, Los Angeles, March 2011.

Cultural Journeys through the African Diaspora Conferenceat The City College of New York, “Ancestry, Art and Commodity: María Magdalena Campos-Pons’s My Mother Told Me I Am Chinese series,” Paper presentation, New York City, April 22-24, 2010.

College Art Association Annual Conference, “Defining the Diaspora; Appropriating Public Spaces in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil,” Paper presentation and Panel Co-Chair, Dallas, February 2008.

International Conference on Afro-Hispanic Studies, “Understanding Religious Juxtapositions Through Material Culture: Candomblé, Santería and Vodou Altars in a Cross-Cultural Perspective,” Paper presentation, Accra, Ghana, August 2007.

Arts Council of the African Studies Association 14th Triennial Conference, “(Re)Claiming Africa in the Diaspora,” Chair and discussant, Gainesville, March 2007.

Recent grants and awards 

Fulbright-Terra Foundation U.S. Teaching Scholar Grant, 2015-16.

University of St. Thomas Graduate Research Team Project. “Museums and African Brazilian Identity,” with Alyssa Thiede and Angela Daniels, Summer 2014.

University of St. Thomas Faculty Development Center, Level 1 Research Grant. “Pierre Verger, Carybé and the Creation of Candomblé's Iconic Imagery in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil,” for research in Brazil in January 2013.

University of St. Thomas Graduate Research Team Project. “Art, Political Memory, and Identity in London’s Nigerian Diaspora: Yinka Shonibare, Sokari Douglas-Camp, and Emamoke Ukeleghe,” with Sarah Munster-Blakley and Natalie McMonagle, summer 2012.

Research Assistance Grant, awarded by the University of St. Thomas Faculty Development Center for research in Brazil in January 2008.

The Textile Society of America Fellowship for Young Professionals, awarded for travel and research in Ghana in January 2005.

Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship, awarded for dissertation research in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, December 2000-December 2001.

Invited Lectures and Workshops

“Art Collecting and Colonialism in West Africa,” Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, Guangzhou, China, June 27, 2016.

“Art History Graduate Programs in the USA,” Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, Guangzhou, China, June 27, 2016.

“Professional Development for Graduate Students,” Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Chongqing, China, June 17, 2016.

“Nationalism in the African Diaspora: Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons,” Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Chongqing, China, June 17, 2016.

“Race and Ethnicity in American Art: Deconstructing Stereotypes,” China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China, June 15, 2016.

“The Ethics of Museum Collections: From Yuanmingyuan to the Benin Kingdom,” China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China, June 14, 2016.

“Professional Development for Graduate Students,” China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China, June 14, 2016.

“Art Collecting and Colonial Histories,” Museums and World Civilizations Lecture Series, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai, China, May 22, 2016.

“Ancient Art, Modern Identities” Museums and World Civilizations Lecture Series, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai, China, May 22, 2016.

“Professional Development Workshop: Careers in Art History,” Museums and World Civilizations Lecture Series, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai, China, May 20, 2016.

“Art Historical Canons: Portraits and Power,” Museums and World Civilizations Lecture Series, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai, China, May 19, 2016.

“The Universal Museum in a Post-Colonial Context,” Southeast University, Nanjing, China, May 9, 2016.

“Art and the Public Sphere: From Augustus to the Rubber Duck,” Southeast University, Nanjing, China, May 9, 2016.

“The Visual Representation of Race in African American Art,” Nanjing Normal University, Honors College, Nanjing, China, May 6, 2016.

“Art Collecting, Ethics and Colonialism,” Nanjing Normal University, Honors College, Nanjing, China, May 4, 2016.

“The Value of Art History in Today’s World,” U.S. Embassy, Beijing, China, April 28th, 2016.

“Art and Commodity in the Arts of the African Diaspora: Campos-Pons, Cuba, and China” Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China, April 27th, 2016.

“Nationalism and the Diaspora: Yinka Shonibare and Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons,” National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan, March 31st, 2016. 

“Professional Development for Art History Students: Applying to PhD Programs,” National Central University, Taoyuan City, Taiwan, March 29th, 2016.

“Art Collecting and Colonialism in West Africa,” National Central University, Taoyuan City, Taiwan, March 29th, 2016.

“Presenting at Academic Conferences: Best Practices for Graduate Students,” National Central University, Taoyuan City, Taiwan, March 29th, 2016.

Courses taught

Undergraduate: Introduction to Art History; Arts of the African Diaspora; Arts of Africa

Graduate seminars: African American Art; Methodology; African Art in Transition; Diaspora: Continuity and Change; Adornment and Identity in African Art; Colonial/Post-Colonial Art; Photography and Africa and the African Diaspora 

Fall 2016 Courses

Fall 2016 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
ARHS 590 - 04 Jamaican Music Cover Art - - - - - - - -
CRN: 43558 Instructor: Heather M. Shirey

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
ARHS 594 - 04 Qualifying Paper &Presentation - - - - - - - -
CRN: 43344 Instructor: Heather M. Shirey As a demonstration of the ability to formulate and carry out original and scholarly work in the discipline, all students are required to submit a qualifying paper during the last semester of study. The qualifying paper must also be presented at the annual graduate forum sponsored by the department. Prerequisite: ARHS 593

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
ARTH 110 - PW1 Introduction to Art History M - W - F - - 1055 - 1200 OEC 311
CRN: 40650 Instructor: Heather M. Shirey Through a series of case studies, this course examines the importance of art as cultural expression across time and from a global perspective. In each course section, students will analyze the style, subject, and patronage of works of art, and will explore art's relationship to religion, ideology, society and economy, gender roles, and the interaction of cultures. Case studies will include architecture, sculpture, painting, and other arts, such as ceramics, textiles, and photography. This course fulfills the Fine Arts and Human Diversity core requirements. Consult the department website for details about the specific sections offered.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
ARTH 110 - W04 Introduction to Art History M - W - F - - 1215 - 1320 OEC 414
CRN: 40487 Instructor: Heather M. Shirey Through a series of case studies, this course examines the importance of art as cultural expression across time and from a global perspective. In each course section, students will analyze the style, subject, and patronage of works of art, and will explore art's relationship to religion, ideology, society and economy, gender roles, and the interaction of cultures. Case studies will include architecture, sculpture, painting, and other arts, such as ceramics, textiles, and photography. This course fulfills the Fine Arts and Human Diversity core requirements. Consult the department website for details about the specific sections offered.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)

J-Term 2017 Courses

J-Term 2017 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location

Spring 2017 Courses

Spring 2017 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
ARHS 535 - 01 Photography Africa/Diaspora - - - R - - - 1730 - 2030 OEC 414
CRN: 22429 Instructor: Heather M. Shirey This graduate level seminar addresses topics related to the art of Africa and the African Diaspora.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
ARTH 485 - 01 Photography Africa/Diaspora - - - R - - - 1730 - 2030 OEC 414
CRN: 22772 Instructor: Heather M. Shirey

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)