Contemporary Arts in Africa
Research Sources & Tips
Definitions and Overviews
Course Reserves (textbooks/readings)
73 Thematic Essays on African Art (with images and bibliographies).
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Continuum Encyclopedia of Native Art: Worldview, Symbolism, and Culture in Africa, Oceania, and Native North Amerca Hope B. Werness; line drawings by Joanne H. Benedict, Tiffany Ramsay-Lozano, and Hope B. Werness; maps by Scott Thomas.
Bookstacks: E98.A7 W49 2000
Tracing Memory: a Glossary of Graphic Signs and Symbols in African Art and Culture. Clémentine M. Faik-Nzuji.
Oversize: NX650.W75 F35 1996
African Art in Detail / Chris Spring.
Oversize: N7380 .S67 2009
African Art: an Introduction / Frank Willett.
Oversize: N7380 .W5 2003
A History of Art in Africa / Monica Blackmun Visonà ... [et al.]; introduction by Suzanne Preston Blier; preface by Rowland Abiodun.
Oversize: N7380 .H54 2001
An Anthology of African Art: the Twentieth Century. edited by N'Goné Fall and Jean Loup Pivin.
Oversize: N7391.65 A5713 2002
A. Use Library Catalogs for Reserves and Books
B. Sample Searches:
(note the search pattern; modify to your own needs)
3. WorldCat (beyond Tufts)
Path of Discovery in the Catalogs
1. Find a title/author (assigned readings/Course Reserves);
2. Note the descriptive language of the Catalog record.
3. Use that language in further searches
e.g. Click on subject/author in the record to see further results and related topics.
Author Kasfir, Sidney Littlefield. Title Contemporary African Art . Publisher New York, N.Y.: Thames and Hudson, 2000. Contents New genres: inventing African popular culture -- Transforming the workshop -- Patrons and mediators -- Art and commodity -- The African artist: shifting identities in the postcolonial world -- The idea of a national culture: decolonizing African art -- Migration and displacement. Subject Art, African -- 20th century..
Art -- Africa (the continent)
Art -- Ghana (a country)
Sculpture -- Africa (a particular medium).
Types of Documents
Exhibition and Museum Catalogues are uniquely valuable sources, which include:
*Fundamental data on each work of art;
*Official images of the artworks;
*essays by art critics/historians;
*list of scholarly publications on the art,
*sometimes, artists’ interviews,
Following are examples from the Library collections:
African Art: a Century at the Brooklyn Museum
William C. Siegmann; with an essay by Joseph Adande; and contributions by Kevin D. Dumouchelle.
Oversize: N7380.5 .B76 2009
Africa: Arts and Cultures
edited by John Mack.
Oversize: N7380 .A34 2000
Diaspora Memory Place: David Hammons, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Pamela Z
edited by Salah M. Hassan, Cheryl Finley.
Oversize: N7380.5 .H36 2008
Art of the Senses: African Masterpieces from the Teel Collection
edited by Suzanne Preston Blier; essays by Suzanne Preston Blier, Christraud M. Geary, Edmund Barry Gaither; catalogue by William E. Teel with Suzanne Preston Blier.
Oversize: NB1091.65 .A77 2004
A. Subject Databases for Journal Articles
B. Popular Press
C. Finding Full Text
1. and 2. Two favorite collections of core journals of all disciplines.
3. Combinations of Databases; search across groups of databases or search each separately:
4. When use GoogleScholar, set your Library Links to access Tufts full texts.
Reviews of recent books and other types of review articles in major journals in a discipline are likely to summarize the current state of research in an area.
Okeke-Agulu, Chika, John Picton, Colin Richards, Peter Probst, Ikem Okoye, Sidney Kasfir, Okwui Enwezor, et al. "NKA Roundtable: Contemporary African Art History and the Scholarship." NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art no. 26 (2010): 80-151.
Vogel, Susan. "Whither African Art? Emerging Scholarship at the End of an Age." African Arts 38, (2005): 12-17, 91.
More Articles like this "perfect" one
Search, in Arts and Humanities Citation Index, for the article you have read.
Roberts, Allen F. "Chance Encounters, Ironic Collage + Recycled Objects as Contemporary African Art." African Arts 25: 2 (1992) 54-63+97-98.
References: 54 Times Cited: 5
You can, then, look up, in the record, the 54 references that Allen F Roberts cited for his article and, in turn, 5 articles (so far) that cited his. The assumption is that these articles address related issues.
1. Not every single article is cited;
2. Influential authors are cited more often;
3. More recent publications take time to be cited.
Book, Movie, Music, Play, And Video Reviews (in LexisNexis)
Factiva (more international coverage)
Times Digital Archive (1785 - 1985)
New York Times Online Archive
(1851 - 3 years before current date)
Readers' Guide Retrospective (1890-1982)
African American Periodicals (1825-1995)
American Periodicals (1740 - 1940)
1. Click on the button in your search results screen to a window of three sequential options:
a. link to the digital full text when available;
b. link to a Library Catalog search for the print journal;
c. link to ILliad for requesting the article when the above two options are negative.
2. Search for a journal directly here:
a. Tufts Library Catalog (including e-journals)
c. Use ILliad to request your article, if Tufts does not have your journal.
A Few Notable Journals:
IV. Writing and Citing
A Short Guide to Writing about Art by Sylvan Barnet
Writing about Art & Art History (The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Tufts Academic Resources Center -- Writing Tutors