Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie

Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie
Professor

Office Hours

Fall 2017: TBD

Office Location

Arts 1226

Specialization

African and African Diaspora Arts and Visual Culture; Contemporary Art; Cultural Patrimony Research, and Critical Theory.

Education

Ph.D. Northwestern University

Bio

Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie specializes on the arts and visual culture of Africa and its Diasporas, especially in terms of how art history discourses create value for African cultural patrimony in the age of globalization. He is the author of Ben Enwonwu: The Making of an African Modernist (University of Rochester Press, 2008: winner of the 2009 Herskovits Prize of the African Studies Association for best scholarly publication in African studies), Making History: The Femi Akinsanya African Art Collection (Milan: 5 Continents Editions, 2011), and editor of Artists of Nigeria (Milan: 5 Continents Editions, 2012). He is the director of Aachron Knowledge Systems, and founder and editor of Critical Interventions: Journal of African Art History and Visual Culture. He organized and coordinated the First International Nollywood Convention and Symposium (Los Angeles, June 2005) that evaluated new media in contemporary African Visual Culture from the perspective of the internationally acclaimed Nigerian Video Film Industry. He subsequently founded the Nollywood Foundation in 2006 to formalize study and research of this phenomenon and produced annual international Nollywood conventions from 2005 to 2009.

Ogbechie is currently a Smithsonian Institution Senior Fellow for 2016-2017 and has received several fellowships, grants and award for his work from the Getty Research Institute, American Academy in Berlin, Rockefeller Foundation, Institute for International Education, Smithsonian Institution and a consultancy for the Ford Foundation. He was the 2010 Consortium Professor of the Getty Research Institute and served as guest editor for a History of Photography special issue on African Photography. His current project focuses on the politics of cultural patrimony debates as it affects demands for the repatriation of African cultural patrimony held in Western museums and institution. His research is widely published and he has lectured and consulted on African and African Diaspora arts for major museums in the USA, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Publications

Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie. Ben Enwonwu: The Making of an African Modernist. Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2008.Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie, ed. Critical Interventions 9, no. 1 (2015).Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie. Making History: African Collectors and the Canon of African Art. Milan: 5 Continents Editions, 2011.  

Courses

Undergraduate Courses

121D   African American Art and the African Legacy
127A   African Art I
127B   African Art II
186N   Black Womanhood: Images, Icons, and Ideologies
186N   The Economics of Cultural Patrimony: Art, Museums, and the Struggle for Restitution
Exhibiting Africa: Curatorial Attitudes and the Politics of Representation
Art and Life in Africa: Tradition, Modernity and Contemporaneity
Photography and Cultures of Modernity in Africa

Graduate Seminars

2007   Transnationalism: Identity Politics in Expatriate and Diaspora African Arts
2002   Rethinking African Art History
Alter/Natives: African Art and the Cultural Politics of Modernity