Portrait of Jennifer Bajorek by Nelson Hancock

I am a scholar, writer, and university professor working on questions at the intersection of photography, art, and poetic form. I have a particular interest in the aesthetic aftermaths of colonialism in French and Francophone worlds, with a cultural and geographic focus on Africa.

I have published and taught widely on African photographic archives and decolonial methods, Francophone (European, African, Caribbean) poetry and film, Marxist, post-Marxist, and postcolonial theory, and diverse topics in contemporary art, African art and art history, and critical museum and heritage studies. My work also involves translation, curating, and diverse forms of collaboration.

My research and curatorial projects have been supported by fellowships and grants from esteemed foundations and institutions including the Mellon, Teagle, Whiting, and Fulbright Foundations, the Clark Art Institute, and the London Centre for Arts and Cultural Exchange, and, most recently, the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, in Paris. I was a recipient of an Arts Writers Grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, in 2013, and won a Millard Meiss Publication Fund Award from the College Art Association for Unfixed: Photography and Decolonial Imagination in West Africa (Duke University Press, 2020).

My current research investigates aesthetic dimensions of im/migration in contemporary France. I am working particularly closely with artists, writers, and activists who draw on African migration and labor histories, transnational workers’ movements, and anti-colonial archives and who exemplify transethnic, transracial, and non-citizen solidarity in their practice. Theories of the post-representational image and the emergence of new genres of migrant writing in defiance of national literatures also play a role.

I am currently Professor of Comparative Literature and Visual Studies at Hampshire College (USA). Prior to teaching at Hampshire, I was Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths’ College, University of London (United Kingdom), where I was also Convenor (Chair) of the MA Programme in Cultural Studies. I have been a Research Associate in the VIAD (Visual Identities in Art and Design) Research Centre, in the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, University of Johannesburg (South Africa), since 2013.