Prita Meier

Associate Professor of Art History, Department of Art History, and the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU

PhD, Harvard University; MA, University of Iowa; BA, University of Florida

Areas of Interest

Art and architecture of Africa; port cities and visual cultures of the Indian Ocean world; comparative urbanism; the cultural dimension of globalization; modernity in Africa; Islamic arts of Africa; histories of photography in Africa

Select Publications

Swahili Port Cities: The Architecture of Elsewhere (Indiana University Press, March 2016)

World on the Horizon: Swahili Arts across the Indian Ocean (Washington University Press, forthcoming 2017) [co-edited with Allyson Purpura]

Articles and chapters

“The Surface of Things: A History of Photography from the Swahili Coast,” The Art Bulletin (forthcoming)

“The Swahili House: A Historical Ethnography of Modernity,” in The Swahili World, ed. Stephanie Wynne-Jones and Adria LaViolette (London, Routledge, forthcoming)

“Unmoored:  On Oceanic Objects in Coastal Eastern Africa” Special Issue: “The Indian Ocean as Aesthetic Space” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 36(3) (forthcoming September 2017)

“Stories of Stone: The Transformation and Reinvention of Swahili Coast Pillar Tombs," Dumbarton Oaks Studies of the History of Landscape Architecture, Vol. 35 (March 2016), 139-160

“Chinese Porcelain and Muslim Port Cities: Mercantile Materiality in Coastal East Africa,” Art History 38(4) September 2015, 702-717

“Modernism in Africanist Art History: The Making of a New Discipline” in The Modernist World, edited by Allana Lindgren and Stephen Ross (Routledge Worlds, April 2015

“At Home in the World: Portrait Photography and Swahili Mercantile Aesthetics ” A Companion to Modern African Art (Chichester and West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013): 96-112

“Beyond Geography: Africa and Colonial Time in ‘Who Knows Tomorrow’” in Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art Issue 28 (Summer 2011): 68-77

“The Problem of Time in African Art History,” in African Art and the Shape of Time, ed. Prita Meier and Raymond Silverman (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Museum of Art Publications, 2012): 6-17

“Authenticity and Its Modernist Discontents: The Colonial Encounter in African and Middle Eastern Art History,” The Arab Studies Journal  XVIII no. 1 (Spring 2010): 12-44

“Objects on the Edge: Swahili Coast Logics of Display,” African Arts Vol. 42 No. 4 (Winter 2009): 8-23