Arts of the African Diaspora

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Year 2, Year 3 or Year 4
Term 1
Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of History of Art and Archaeology & School of Arts

Module overview

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • Have gained knowledge and understanding of the themes, issues and debates of African and diasporic art traditions relating to the trajectories of their development within and outside Africa and to understanding the ways in which they are constituted in their local, regional and inter-continental circumstances through in depth examples of particular art traditions within and outside Africa.
  • Identify and compare different approaches to understanding art traditions within and outside Africa.
  • Assess critically the materials and themes explored in the course through the use of particular examples from within and outside Africa.
  • Have been introduced to the range of skills used in art history and developed independent study and research skills.
  • Enable an appreciation of the variety of cultural values and their implications for equality issues such as class, "race", gender, sexual orientation, age and disability.


  • One hour Lecture, one hour Seminar

Method of assessment


  • One 750 word book review (worth 20%)
  • One 1,500 word essay (worth 40%)
  • One two hour exam (worth 40%)


  • One 750 word book review (worth 20%)
  • One 1,750 word essay (worth 40%)
  • One two hour exam (worth 40%)

Suggested reading

  • Gell A, 1998: Art and Agency: an anthropological theory
  • (ed.) Plankensteiner, Barbara, 2007, Benin Kings and Rituals: Court Arts from Nigeria
  • Horton R, 1965: Kalabari Sculpture,
  • Ross D et al, 1998: Wrapped in Pride: Ghanaian Kente and African American Identity
  • Williamson S, 1989: Resistance Art in South Africa
  • Chappel T, 1977: Decorated Gourds from Northeastern Nigeria
  • W MacGaffrey & M Harris, 1993, Astonishment and Power,
  • Biebuyck D, 1973: Lega Culture
  • Loughran K S, et al [eds], 1986: Somalia in Word and Image
  • Cole H and D Ross, 1977: The Arts of Ghana


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules