Elizabeth Harney

Associate - Arts, Culture, Media (UTSC); Graduate Department of Art


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

Contemporary global arts, Africa modernities, diaspora, migration, multiculturalism


Elizabeth Harney is associate professor of Art History at the University of Toronto. She is the author of In Senghor's Shadow: Art, Politics, and the Avant-Garde in Senegal, 1960-1995 (Duke 2004) which won the Arnold Rubin Outstanding Publication Award from the African Studies Association (2007). She is also editor of Ethiopian Passages: Contemporary Art from the Diaspora (Philip Wilson/Smithsonian Institution: 2003) and co-editor of Inscribing Meaning: Writing and Graphic Systems in African Art (5 Continents Press, 2007). She has published in Art JournalAfrican ArtsNKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art, and Oxford Art Journal. Professor Harney also serves as Exhibitions Reviews Editor at African Arts and Consulting Editor at NKA. She was the first curator of contemporary arts at the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian (1999-2003). Her current research focuses upon contemporary cosmopolitanism, comparative modernisms and the politics of exhibiting.

Research Areas

Art history and contemporary critical theory, critical curation, ethnography and material culture histories 

Cities of Focus

Toronto, Dakar, Asmara (Eritrea), Johannesburg and Cape Town