Rachel Nelson

Rachel Nelson

The Political Economies of Contemporary Art, Art and Activism, Conflict Studies, Globalism, Art in the Global South, Feminist Studies, Critical Theory
Selected Publications: 

"Visions at the Scene of Trauma: New Orleans Prospect(s.)" Third Text. Volume 29, Numbers 1-2 March 2015, pp. 14-30. 

(Mis)Seeing in Contemporary Art/(Mis)Seeing as Contemporary Art." Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art. Fall 2013. Issue 33.

Kiluanji Kia Henda: Art Beyond the Local and the Global." SAVVY: Journal of Contemporary African Art. eds. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung and Andrea Heister. Fall 2012.

"Imaginary Histories, Imaginary Progress: A Conversation with Kiluanji Kia Henda." SAVVY: Journal of Contemporary African Art. eds. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung and Andrea Heister. Fall 2012.

Book Review:Western Frontiers of African Art by Moyo Okediji. African Arts. Winter 2013. Vol 47.


Selected Presentations: 

"Spectors in the City: Luanda Past and Present." Arts Council of African Studies Association (ACASA), March 2014.

"Kiluanji Ki Henda's Photographic Practice: Exorcising History, Exposing the Present." Association for the Study of Worldwide African Diaspora, Dominican Republic, October 2013.

“Gallery Soso Arte Contemporânea Africana: (Re) Marketing Contemporary Art from Africa in Brazil and Africa.”ACASA, March 2011.

“Remapping the Narrative in Contemporary African Art.” At Critical Encounters: A Symposium in Honor of Sidney Littlefield Kasfir, Emory University, April 2011.

“Strategies of Engagement: Contemporary Art from Africa and the Western World” Getty Institute, Oct 2009.

“Considering Reviews of Contemporary African Art in the U.S. Media,” SECAC, New Orleans, LA, Sept 2008.



Teaching Interests: 

Contemporary Art of Africa and Its Diasporas

The Aesthetics of Resistance: Latin American Art 1900s thru the Present

Topics in Contemporary Art: U.S. and Europe in Times of Transition

Theories and Methods of Visual Studies


Honors and Awards: 

Rhonda A. Saad Prize for Best Paper in Modern and Contemporary Arab Art, 2016

Associate of American University Women (AAUW) Dissertation
Fellowship, 2015/16

UC Santa Cruz, Arts Division Summer Dissertation Fellowship, 2015

UC Santa Cruz, Arts Dean Graduate Student Travel/Research
Grant, 2011, 2012 & 2013

UC Santa Cruz, Graduate
Student Association Travel Grant, 2011, 2012

UC Santa Cruz, STARS Fellowship, 2011

UC Santa Cruz Chancellor’s Fellowship, 2010/11

Phi Beta Kappa Society

Education and Training: 
B.A. Stetson University, Florida, English