Salah M. Hassan
Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences in Africana Studies, on leave 2021 - 2023
Salah M. Hassan is the Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences in Africana Studies and Research Center, and Department of History of Art and Visual Studies, and Director of the Institute for Comparative Modernities (ICM), Cornell University. He is also the Founding Director, The Africa Institute, Sharjah, UAE. Hassan is an art historian, art critic and curator. He is an editor and founder of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art (Duke University Press) and served as consulting editor for African Arts. He currently serves as member of the editorial advisory board of Atlantica and Journal of Curatorial Studies. He authored, edited and co-edited several books including Ahmed Morsi: A Dialogic Imagination (2021); Ibrahim El Salahi’s Prison Notebook (English Edition) (2018); Ibrahim El Salahi’s Prison Notebook (Arabic Edition) (2018); How to Liberate Marx from His Eurocentrism: Notes on Black/African Marxism (2012); Darfur and the Crisis of Governance: A Critical Reader (2009), and Diaspora, Memory, Place (2008); Unpacking Europe (2001); Authentic/Ex-Centric (2001); Gendered Visions: The Art of Contemporary Africana Women Artists (1997); and Art and Islamic Literacy among the Hausa of Northern Nigeria (1992).
Hassan guest edited a special issue of SAQ: South Atlantic Quarterly, entitled African Modernism (2010), and co-edited a special issue of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, Issue 49, November, 2021 titled Egyptian Surrealists in Global Contexts. His book Ibrahim El Salahi: A Visionary Modernist, published in 2012 in conjunction with the retrospective of the Sudanese artist, Ibrahim El Salahi, which was exhibited at the Tate Modern in London (2013) after premiering in the Sharjah Art Museum (2013) in Sharjah, UAE. He has contributed essays to journals, anthologies and exhibition catalogues of contemporary art. He has curated and co-curated several international exhibitions such as Authentic/Ex-Centric (49th Venice Biennale, 2001); Unpacking Europe (Rotterdam, 2001-02); and 3x3: Three Artists/Three: David Hammons, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Pamela Z (Dak'Art, 2004); The Khartoum School: The Making of the Modern Art Movement in Sudan 1945–Present (Sharjah Art Foundation, 2014); When Art Becomes Liberty: The Egyptian Surrealists 1938-1965 ( Palace of Arts, Cairo, Egypt, 2016, and Museum of Modern Art, Seoul, South Korea, 2017); and Kamala Ibrahim Ishag: States of Oneness. (Serpentine Galleries, London 2022) (a collaboration between Sharjah Art Foundation and the Serpentine Galleries). He is the recipient of the College Art Association (CAA) 2021 Distinguished Scholar Award, and several grants and fellowships, such as the J. Paul Getty Postdoctoral Fellowship, as well as major grants from the Sharjah Art Foundation, Ford, Rockefeller, Andy Warhol and Prince Claus Fund foundations.
English and Arabic
Research interests include African and African Diaspora art history and visual cultures, focusing on contemporary art and modernism from comparative perspectives. Currently working on two major projects funded by the Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE entitled The Egyptian Surrealists and The Khartoum School: The Making of the Modern Art Movement in Sudan (1945-Present) which have been realized as exhibitions and will further result in several publications.
Ahmed Morsi: A Dialogic Imagination. Co-edited with Hoor Al Qasimi (Skira, Milan, 2021).
Ibrahim El Salahi’s Prison Notebook (English Edition). (A book based on El-Salahi’s prison diary drawings,1975-1976). Edited and Introduced (MoMA Publications and Sharjah Art Foundation, NYC, 2018)
Ibrahim El Salahi’s Prison Notebook (Arabic Edition). (Same as above published 2018)
How to Liberate Marx from His Eurocentrism: Notes on Black/African Marxism. (Kassel: Documenta 13 and Hatji Cantz Verlag Publisher, 2012) Notebook No. 091 published as part of “Documenta 13 100 Notes - 100 Thoughts.”
Darfur and the Crisis of Governance in Sudan: A Critical Reader. (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2009). Co-edited with Carina E. Ray.
Ibrahim El-Salahi: A Visionary Modernist. Editor (New York: Museum for African Art and Washington University Press, 2012). (Republished by the Tate Modern, London, in 2013)
David Hammons, Maria Magdalena Campos-pons, Pamela Z.: Three Artists, Three Projects, Dakar Biennale: Diaspora, Memory, Place. Co-edited with Cheryl Finley. (Prestel USA, 2008)
"Strange Fruit: Lynching, Visuality, Empire." Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, 2006
In the news
- Salah Hassan co-curates African modernist artist Kamala Ibrahim Ishag’s exhibition at the Serpentine, London
- Hassan honored for elevating the study of global modern art
- Art history professor receives grant for global seminars
- Teach-In at Cornell: Combatting Islamophobia through education
- Alum reimagines blackness in contemporary African-American art
- Engaged Art and Its Critique