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Carol Magee specializes in African contemporary art with an emphasis on photography. Her current research theorizes the alignment of the experience and interpretation of lens-based and sound art through the movement practice and theories of the Feldenkrais Method®.  Her project examining African urban photography investigating emotional, physical, psychological, or philosophical experiences of place, was presented as an exhibition and catalogue: Urban Cadence: Street Scenes from Lagos and Johannesburg (2019). Her first book, Africa in the American Imagination: Popular Culture, Racialized Identities, and African Visual Culture (University Press of Mississippi, 2011) analyzed how popularly circulated objects significantly shape knowledge about Africa and the implications of that knowledge for Americans and Africans alike. Her interest in the structures of knowledge production also undergirds a collection of essays co-edited with Joanna Grabski (Dennison University). African Art, Interviews, Narratives: Bodies of Knowledge at Work (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013) considers how interviews, interlocutors, and art historical narratives engage and entangle in the processes of scholarly production. She is a founding member of UNC’s Editorial Board as a partner in African Arts’ publishing consortium, and serves on the Editorial Board of arts. Her role as Co-PI for the Learning from Artists’ Archives project expanded her interactions with North Carolina artists, archivists, and students, helping facilitate the growth of communities that benefit from mutual learning and building on one another’s expertise. After receiving her PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara, she held a Woodrow Wilson Postdoctoral Fellowship at Elon University.

Book cover for Urban Cadence Book cover for African Art, Interviews, Narratives: Bodies of Knowledge at Work Book cover for Africa in the American Imagination

Select articles and chapters

“Being Present: Michael Tsegaye in Addis Ababa” Photography and Culture (forthcoming 2023).
“Organic Archives and Generative Silence: A Case Study of the Nlele Institute’s Photographic Archives” with Erin Dickey, in Mayar, Mahshid & Marion Schulte (eds.), Silence and its Derivatives: Conversations Across Disciplines (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2022), 131 -159.
“Imaging Global Lagos” Social Dynamics 44, no. 3 (2018), 438- 454
“Lagos is Everywhere: Digital Sound Art and Ever-Expanding Possibilities” with Emeka Ogboh Critical Interventions 8, no. 3, (2014), 342-347.
“There is a There There” Photography & Culture (March 2014), 41-62.
“Experiencing Lagos through Stillness” Evental Aesthetics 1, no.3 (Fall 2012), 41-49.
“Social Fabrics: gold mining, diaspora, and word and image in the paintings of Papa Essel” African Arts 43 no. 4 (Winter 2010): 8-19.
“Representing Africa? Celebrities, Photography and Vanity Fair,” in Robert Clarke, ed. Celebrity Colonialism: Fame, Power and Representation in Colonial and Postcolonial Cultures (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009), 275-290.
“Spatial Stories: Photographic Practice and Urban Belonging” Africa Today 54/2 (Winter 2007): 108-129.


Current and recent courses

  • Africa in the American Imagination
  • Art History in Motion
  • Art Historical Methods
  • Art of the City
  • Picture That! History of Photography from Tintypes to Instagram

Other courses taught

  • African Modernisms
  • African Photographic History
  • Professional Development
  • Urban Africa and Global Mobility