Stacey Kennedy

Stacey Kennedy

Department of African Studies and Anthropology
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

PhD title

Women’s agency and Nigerian art networks in the contemporary African art world

SupervisorDr Juliet Gilbert (Birmingham), Professor Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll (Birmingham) and Dr Amy Rushton (Nottingham Trent)

PhD African Studies and Anthropology


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


I received my BA Joint Honours from the former Centre of West African Studies and the Cultural Studies Department at Birmingham University. After graduating I enjoyed 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. I returned to academia to study my MRes with the Department of African Studies and Anthropology. This research investigated the African contemporary art market at Bonhams Auction House in London. Following this I was granted a full AHRC scholarship through M3C to carry out my doctoral research.


I have taught undergraduate modules in Art History at the University and am interested in broadening the traditional art canon purview through a focus on women artists from Africa and the African diaspora. I teach regularly with the Brilliant Club and am passionate about working with young students to highlight the diversity of ‘Africa’, to break down negative stereotypes and explore the continent as a heterogenous collection of 54 individual countries. I believe that when we study contemporary African art we uncover an alternative story of ‘Africa’ as a youthful, dynamic and exciting continent. This positive reconceptualisation has the power the change the narrative- to challenge the outdated negative single story of ‘Africa’.


My research focuses on women's agency in the African contemporary art world, specifically exploring contemporary art networks in and from Nigeria. I investigate how women find success individually and collectively to negotiate and connect global art spaces. I am also interested in the Danford Collection at Birmingham University and developed a funded research project which catalogued the biographies of female donors.

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


  • POCO New Voices network 2018/19 Regional Rep
  • 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


  • Talking #Africadia and Afropolitanism: An Interview with Artist Siwa Mgoboza 07/02/2019, Africa in Words 2019
  • Researcher for: Francis Davis, E Murangira and M Daehnhardt (2019) Ageing in Rwanda – challenges and opportunities for church, state and nation. Teddington/Birmingham: Tearfund and University of Birmingham