I write and teach on the subject areas of African, African-American, and Black Diaspora visual and material culture, the history of photography, Black modernism, and museums as (de-)colonial spaces. My work is animated by a profound interest in the role of the visual arts in historical processes like decolonization, and a desire to tell stories about under-recognized artists and art movements. To date, my work has focused on the history of photography in Southern Africa, particularly photography’s role in Southern and Lusophone Africa’s liberation struggles and each region’s post-colonial development. The culmination of this work is the book Filtering Histories: The Photographic Bureaucracy in Mozambique, 1960 to Recent Times (University of Michigan Press, 2021). My second monograph, provisionally titled Coloring Black Surveillance: The Story of Polaroid in Africa, the Anti-Apartheid Struggle, and the Contemporary Art World, seeks to draw connections between the invention of instant color photography, the anti-apartheid struggle, and the use of Polaroids in US prisons. Art curating is a critical component of my scholarship and teaching. At present, I am working with the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts on a posthumous survey of the Black American artist Ben Wigfall and the artist workshop Communications Village that he established.

Selected Recent Publications

Filtering Histories: The Photographic Bureaucracy in Mozambique, 1960 to Recent Times (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2021).

”’Não Há Nada’ (‘There is Nothing’): Absent Headshots and Identity Documents in Independent Mozambique,” Technology and Culture Vol. 61, Number 2 Supplement (April 2020): S104-S134.

“Photo Genres and Alternate Histories of Independence in Mozambique,” In Ambivalent. Photography and Visibility in African History edited by Patricia Hayes and Gary Minkley (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2019).