Zoe Sara Strother

Region of Interest


Primary Country of Residence

United States of America


Riggio Professor of African Art


Columbia University, New York, New York



Mailing Address

Department of Art History and Archaeology
Columbia University
914 Schermerhorn Hall, MC 5517
New York, New York 10027 USA

Phone/Fax Number(s)

phone: 212 854 8529
fax: 212 854 7329

Countries of Specialization

Congo (Democratic Republic), Nigeria, Ethiopia, Mali, Senegal.

Research Interests

Specialist in Central and West African art history, with a special focus on the twentieth century (both colonial and postcolonial).

Has conducted research in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Mali, and Senegal.

Her broad intellectual project is to understand how concepts such as "mask," "power object," or "divine kingship" have been deployed to theorize power and knowledge in
African societies. She is currently also working on a study of "iconoclasm" in African art.


2008. Pende. Milan: 5 Continents Editions.

2004. "Architecture Against the State: The Virtues of Impermanence in the
Kibulu of Eastern Pende Chiefs in Central Africa." Journal of the Society
of Architectural Historians 63: 3(September 2004), pp. 272-95.

2001. "African Works." Guest editor for special issue of RES: Journal of
Anthropology and Aesthetics devoted to methodology. (#39: Spring 2001).
-and- "Editorial" African Works: Anxious Encounters in the Visual Arts,.
pp. 5-23

1999. "Display of the Body Hottentot." In: Africans on Stage, edited by
Bernth Lindfors. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999, pp. 1-61.

1998. Inventing Masks: Agency and History in the Art of the Central
Pende. University of Chicago Press. [Paper 1999.] 2000 Arnold Rubin
Outstanding Publication Award by the Arts Council of the African Studies


art history ; African history ; colonial history ; post-colonial history ; masquerade ; power.