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Aimee Bessire

  • 207-786-6443
  • abessire@bates.edu
  • History
  • Visiting Associate Professor
  • Pettengill Hall, Room 217

Aimée Bessire teaches courses in African art and culture, African photography, contemporary art and history of photography. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. specializing in African Art from Harvard University and has a M.A. in Ancient Near Eastern and 20th century art from NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts. She received a Getty Fellowship to support her research and work on Sukuma culture in Tanzania. Her publications include “Sukuma Figures, Boundaries and the Arousal of Spectacle,” (African Arts Spring 2005); “Critical Voices in Contemporary African Art,” In The Future of Africa (New York Society for International Affairs); “See: She,” Pamela Johnson, Exhibition Catalog (Bates College Art Museum); “Iké Udé’s Beyond Decorum: The Poetics and Politics of Fashionable Selves,” in The Photography of Iké Udé, (MIT Press). Currently, Aimée Bessire is working with Sukuma healer practitioners conducting research on objects containing empowering substances and their contextualized practices. Inspired by her long-term association with the village of Ntulya in Tanzania, she has worked with a small group to initiate the non-profit “Africa Schoolhouse”, whose first project is dedicated to building sustainable school communities for children in Africa without educational opportunities. She is Associate Professor of Art History at the Maine College of Art, where she has been part of a team that has recently designed a new major in Art History and Curatorial Practice.


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