Global Africa Community Forum t shirt design, 2023. Design by Joseph Obanubi
Oct 13, 2023 - 11am–12:30pm
Main Level, African Gallery

This participatory discussion invites us to imagine what decolonizing a museum can look like, using objects from KAM’s Encounters: The Arts of Africa gallery as points of departure, will be facilitated by Fatou Jobe, a graduate student in sociology; Toyosi Morgan, a graduate student in theatre; Hermann von Hesse, assistant professor art history;  and moderated by Terri Barnes, director of the Center for African Studies.

The program has been made possible with generous support of the following cosponsors:
Center for African Studies through the US Department of Education’s Title VI NRC Program, Krannert Art Museum, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, School of Art & Design, Program in Art History, Department of History, Department of Anthropology, Women and Gender in Global Perspectives, Office of Minority Student Affairs, the iSchool, Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center, Department of Linguistics, and Humanities Research Institute Supplemental Event Fund. In-kind sponsorship generously provided by Dixon Graphics. Supported by the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

GACF Planning Committee: Teresa Barnes, Fatou Jobe, Byron Juma, Toyosi Morgan, Julia Nucci Kelly, Joseph Obanubi, Allyson Purpura, Rachel Storm, and Hermann von Hesse.

The goal of the Global African Community Forum is to center African perspectives in critical conversations about the fraught colonial histories of museums and the global politics of collecting, restitution, and return. We hope this conversation will spark new thinking about the place of art in (re)building communities at home and abroad, about the life histories of objects, and about the ethics of museum practice as we reckon with the dislocation, interpretation, and collective care of African objects. 

About the Moderator

Terri Barnes is a Professor of History and Gender & Women's Studies, and Director of the Center for African Studies at UIUC. She earned her PhD in African Economic History from the University of Zimbabwe, and has published in African women's and political history and South African higher education history.

About the Panelists

Hermann W. von Hesse earned his PhD in African History with an Art History minor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May 2021. He is currently an Assistant Professor in African Art History at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is working on his book manuscript, “‘Love of Stone Houses’: Urban Merchants, Ancestral Spaces and Sacred Objects on Africa’s Gold Coast” (forthcoming, University of Chicago Press).

Toyosi Tejumade-Morgan, (B.A. Hons.; MA.) studied and taught theatre arts at the University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria. She specializes in Directing, Dramaturgy, Social Justice Theater, and Theatre Criticism. In 2019, she created "Theatre Maniacs," which specializes in productions of Theatre for Social Change employing a mix of the African Total Theatre with Western performance aesthetics. She advocates for revolutionary theatre to jolt the status quo. Toyosi is a doctoral student/GTA at the Department of Theatre Arts, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA. She is a recipient of The Mellon Foundation Interseminar Fellowship, Humanities Research Institute, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2021. Toyosi is the President of the African Students Organization.

Fatou Jobe is a sociology Ph.D. student. She holds a BA in Economics from the University of Connecticut and a MA in African Studies from UIUC. Her research focuses on the political economy of international fishing processes and the gendered dynamics of these processes in The Gambia.