Kobena Mercer

1999 Vera List Center Fellow
Kobena Mercer is Professor, History of Art and African American Studies, Yale University.

Programs and projects
Debating Diaspora and Whatever Happened to Hybridity?

Mercer writes and teaches on the visual arts of the black diaspora and is Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Visual Culture and Media at Middlesex University London. He has taught at New York University, University of California at Santa Cruz, and California Institute of the Arts, and has received fellowships from Cornell University, University of California, Irvine, and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School in New York. Born in London in 1960, Mercer was educated in Ghana and England and received his B.A. in Fine Art from St Martins School of Art and his Ph.D. in Sociology from Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Mercer's first book, Welcome to the Jungle: New Positions in Black Cultural Studies (1994) is a collection of essays that addresses the politics of representation in contemporary visual culture. His publications feature in several landmark anthologies including Out There (1990), The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader (1992), Art and Its Histories: A Reader (1998), Visual Culture: The Reader (1999), The Third Text Reader on Art, Culture and Theory (2002), and Theorising Diaspora (2003). Monographs and exhibition catalogue essays include James VanDer Zee, Adrian Piper, Isaac Julien, Keith Piper, and Rotimi Fani-Kayode, as well as Black Male (1994), Pictura Britannica (1997), and Africas: The Artist and The City (2001). He is editor of Annotating Art Histories, a four volume series from MIT Press and the Institute of International Visual Arts, whose first title, Cosmopolitan Modernisms (2005), will be followed by Discrepant Abstraction (forthcoming, 2006). (Biography as of 2006).