Stacey Kennedy

Stacey Kennedy

Department of African Studies and Anthropology
Doctoral researcher
CMCM Research Assistant

Contact details

PhD title

Women’s agency in the contemporary Nigerian art world: modernist legacies and contemporary moves across Nigerian art networks

SupervisorDr Juliet Gilbert (University of Birmingham), Professor Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll (Central European University, Vienna) and Dr Amy Rushton (Nottingham Trent University)

PhD African Studies and Anthropology


  • MRes African Studies
  • BA Joint Hons African Studies and Cultural Studies


After my undergraduate studies I forged a successful career in the arts and social research, working for high profile organisations such as the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Office for National Statistics, before returning to academia to study an MRes with the Department of African Studies and Anthropology. This research investigated the African contemporary art market at Bonhams Auction House in London. Following the MRes I was granted a full AHRC scholarship through M4C to carry out my doctoral research where I am now a finishing student. I work as an advisor on modern and contemporary African art in the private sector and am Research Assistant for The Centre for Material Culture and Materialities (CMCM) at University of Birmingham.



I have taught undergraduate modules across Art History, African Studies and Anthropology (DASA) and the History department at University of Birmingham. These include:

  • Teaching Associate (Art History) ‘Historical Concepts’ and ‘Debates and Methods’
  • Teaching Associate (DASA) ‘Kinship, Gender and Sexuality’ and ‘From Colony to Nation (Ghana)'
  • Guest lecturer (Art History) ‘Global Art’ – African contemporary Art and the Danford Collection' and ‘Political Art'- Nigerian modern and contemporary art'
  • Teaching Associate and lecturer (History) ‘The History of Africa and its Diaspora’

I regularly teach secondary school students with the Brilliant Club - a charity which raises University aspiration among under represented groups- and am passionate about working with young students to highlight the diversity of ‘Africa’ and break down negative stereotypes through contemporary art.


My research focuses on women's agency in the African modern and contemporary art world, specifically exploring art networks in and from Nigeria. I investigate how women find success individually and collectively to negotiate and connect global art spaces. I also research the Danford Collection at Birmingham University, thinking through the politics of decolonisation and the art networks of Empire and the Commonwealth. In 2019 I carried out an AHRC funded research project to catalogue female donors to the Danford Collection.

Other activities

Research visits

  • February 2019: Marrakech and Casablanca, Morrocco
  • May 2019: New York, USA
  • August 2019: Florence and Venice, Italy
  • October 2019: Lagos, Nigeria


  • 4/4/19 LUCAS 'Creative Africas, Contemporary Africas' Leeds University, UK. Africa Rising, African Nostalgia: two narratives around African contemporary art at Bonhams Auction House in London.
  • 22/5/2019 Global Urbanism workshop, University of Birmingham, UK. Art infrastructure in African urban spaces
  • 13/6/2019 New Voices in Postcolonial Studies: Interdisciplinary Imaginations, Critical Confrontations, Leeds University, UK. Women’s agency in the African Contemporary Art World: exploring Afropolitan art networks


  • Research Curate Steering Group member
  • H-AfrARts editor
  • Judge on the panel of LESLAN art prize in Niger
  • Researcher in Residence, Research and Cultural Collections
  • 2017 MRes thesis received the RE Bradbury memorial award from Birmingham University for outstanding research
  • French language (intermediate)



Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities