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Axelle Toussaint (Axelle Boyer)

Research interests: visual culture of Africa and its diasporas; French colonialism; memory and the archive(s) of slavery; performance; textiles, clothing and the body.
Kresge 226
Office Hours: 



Selected Publications: 

“Imagining Colonial Motherhood: Métissage, Mother Nation, and Marian(ne) Apparitions in Houat’s Les Marrons (1844),” Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts 41, no. 5 (2024).

"Kaili Chun: The Native Artist as Storyteller and Steward of the Land and the Water," Pacific Arts, 22:1 (2022).

White Shoals, White Shrouds: Reflections on the Ethics of Looking at Captive Bodies,Refract: An Open Access Visual Studies Journal, 1:3 (2020).

Nka Journal of Contemporary African Art’s special issue ‘Black Fashion: Art. Pleasure. Politics’ (review), International Journal of Fashion Studies, 4.2 (2017).

“Abuse,” “Bullying,” and “Fear,” in Victims of Style: Critical Cases on the Violence of Fashion, Co-authored with Busch et al., Selfpassage, 2015.

Selected Presentations: 

"The Arts of Queenship" (2019). National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution.

“Cartographier l’île: perspectives (post)coloniales et féministes” (2019). French Culture Workshop, Department of French and Italian and the Division of Literatures, Cultures and Languages, Stanford University.

Le Ventre du Morne: A Note on Women’s Emplacement in Colonized Territories” (2019). Panel: The Afterlife of Slavery. Graduate Research Symposium, UCSC.

“Imagining Insular Motherhood: Métissage, Mother Nation, and Marian Apparitions in Les Marrons (1844)” (2019). Panel: Representing, Remembering, and Reimagining the Francophone Islands. American Comparative Literature Association Conference, Washington, DC.

“The Queen’s Veil: Visibility Politics in the French Colonial Archive” (2019). Panel: Fashioning Resistance. College Art Association Conference, New York, NY.

“Comorian Repertoire: Women's Memory of the Black Indian Ocean” (2018). Indian Ocean World Centre Conference, McGill University, Montreal (Canada).

Honors and Awards: 

Multicampus Faculty Working Group Grant, UC Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI), 2019-2020.

Funding for Research Cluster “Feminist Futures in the Indian Ocean,” UC Santa Cruz, The Humanities Institute, 2019-2020.

Visual Studies Travel & Research Grant, UC Santa Cruz, 2019.

Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Dissertation Proposal Development, 2019.

"Collective Fabric," UC Art & Design Placemaking Initiative Award, University of California, 2019. See more about the Collective Fabric project here.

Graduate Student Fellowship, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of African Art & National Museum of Natural History (joint appointment), 2019.

Art Dean’s Fund for Excellence, UC Santa Cruz, 2018 & 2019.

Jack Handford Award, Costume Society of America, 2018.

Provost Scholarship, The New School, 2014-2016.

LL.M. Scholarship, Université Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas, 2012-2013.         

Education and Training: 
M.A., The New School
LL.M., UC Hastings College of the Law
B.A., Université Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas