Amanda Gilvin

Five College Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in African Art and Architecture

African art, the taxonomy of art and craft, museum studies, gender studies, and textiles

Amanda Gilvin’s research focuses on museology, textiles, and artistic pedagogies in West Africa. Her book manuscript, Mining Beauty: Art and Development in Niger, includes an analysis of the Republic of Niger’s unique national museum, the Musée National Boubou Hama du Niger.

 In 2009 and 2010, she was a Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Research Abroad Fellow in Niger and France.  In addition to more conventional forms of academic research, she learned to weave with Abdoulwahid Goumer, a weaver based at the Musée National Boubou Hama du Niger. She also has conducted research in Algeria, Ghana, Senegal, Switzerland, Canada, and the United States.

 At Mount Holyoke College and Smith College, Gilvin teaches courses on diverse arts of Africa and the African Diaspora. Themes of her courses include fashion, museology, and contemporary art.  In 2014, she co-curated El Anatsui: New Worlds at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum and Transformations in African Art at the Smith College Museum of Art.



Hot and Haute: Alphadi’s Fashion for Peace,” African Arts, Volume 47, Number 2 (2014): 40-55.

“Converging Pedagogies in African Art Education: Colonial Legacies and Post-independence Aspirations,” Critical Interventions, Volume 8, Number 1 (March 2014): 1-9.

“Teaching African Artisanry, Seeing African Labor: Persistent Pedagogies in Twentieth Century Niger,” Critical Interventions, Volume 8, Number 1 (March 2014): 74-95.

Collaborative Futures: Critical Reflections on Publicly Active Graduate Education. Co-edited with Georgia M. Roberts and Craig Martin.  (The Graduate School Press of Syracuse University, 2012).

 “Review: Yinka Shonibare’s Garden of Love at the Musée du Quai Branly.” Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art.  Number 24, Summer 2009.

“Gender, Education, and Aesthetic Change in the Krobo Bead Industry.” Co-written with Nomoda E. Djaba. The Global Perspective of Beads and Beadwork: History, Manufacture, Trade, and Adornment.  (Kadir Has University, 2007).

 “Field Research Report.”  Africa Notes, Institute of African Development, Cornell University, April/May 2006.

 “Cedi and Krobo Hotworked Glass Beads.”  Ornament. Volume 26, Number 3, 2003.

 “The Potential for Participatory Development Around the Takini School.”  The Great Plains Sociologist. Spring Issue, 1999.