Bimbola Akinbola

Bimbola Akinbola is a doctoral candidate in the Department of American Studies at the University of Maryland-College Park. Her dissertation considers the liberatory potential of creative placemaking for women artists of the Nigerian diaspora who resist and re-frame traditional trauma narratives of loss and displacement by embracing “sites of (dis)belonging,” which they represent as sites of pleasure, play, and freedom. As a scholar of museums and material culture, Bimbola also researches  the museum space as a site of dissent and collaboration for visitors, and the race, class, and gender politics of “community engaged” artmaking. Bimbola is co-editor of the online publication, Powerlines: An Interdiscplinary Online Journal of American Studies, and the recipient of numerous fellowships and grants including the University of Maryland Flagship Fellowship and the Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation Fellowship. Originally from Columbia, Missouri,  Bimbola Akinbola earned her BA in American studies and Studio Art from Macalester College.

Degrees

Present   Doctoral Candidate, American Studies, University of Maryland, College Park

Museum Scholarship and Material Culture Graduate Certificate

2011 B.A with honors, double major in American Studies and Studio Art,  Macalester College, Saint Paul, MN

Areas of Research

  • African diaspora studies
  • Visual culture studies
  • Ethnography
  • Performance studies
  • Museum and material culture studies

Fellowships and Awards

Present University of Maryland Graduate School Flagship Fellowship

Present University of Maryland Graduate School Dean’s Fellowship

2014 University of Maryland Jacob K. Goldhaber Travel Grant to conduct research in Lagos, Nigeria (June)

2014 University of Maryland College of Arts and Humanities Travel Award to conduct research in Lagos, Nigeria (August)

2014 Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation Fellowship (August)

2009 Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (2 years)

Presentations

2016   “The Erotics of (Dis)Belonging: Representations of Homeland in the Art of Ndijeka Akunyili Crosby” The American Studies Association Annual Conference. Denver Colorado (November)

2015    “The Erotics of Diasporic Homemaking: Longing and Connection in the Art of Ndijeka Akunyili-Crosby” National Women’s Studies Association Annual Conference. Milwaukee, WI (November)

2015    “Locating Africa in Afro-pessimism: Towards a More Global Engagement with  ‘Black Misery.’” Accept, Articulate, Mis (use): What’s Afro-pessimism Without Misery Roundtable discussion. American Studies Association Conference, Toronto, Canada (October)

2014    “Does Homeland Long for Us?: Ambivalent Nostalgia and Diasporic Homemaking in the Art of Wura Natasha Ogunji.” American Studies Association Conference. Los Angeles, CA (November)

2014     “’Spiraling Backward and Forward from Vaporous Beginnings to the Present’: Dance in History Museums as a Way of Seeing” SSRC-Mellon Mays Summer Conference. Atlanta, Georgia. (June)

2014     “Afro-pessimism in Africa” Afro-pessimism Graduate Student Paper Session University of Maryland-College Park (May)

2014       Facilitator for Dance Exchange Panel “Dance Matters: A Discussion on Racial Equity and the Power of the Arts.” Washington D.C (January)

2013     “Dancing on the Anacostia with Dance Exchange” Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum Forum “Arts, Culture, and Waterfronts” Washington D.C (September)

Courses

2016     Instructor, American Studies 101: Introduction to American Studies (Spring)

2016      Instructor, American Studies 205: Material Aspects of American Life (Winter Online)

2015     Instructor, American Studies 101: Introduction to American Studies (Fall)

2015     Instructor, American Studies 205: Material Aspects of American Life(Summer Online)

2015     Instructor, American Studies 101: Introduction to American Studies (Spring)

2014     Instructor, American Studies 205: Material Aspects of American Life (Fall)

2014     Teaching Assistant, American Studies 289A: Shifting Sands: Constructing Cultural Mainstreams and Margins in the U.S (Spring)

2014     Instructor, American Studies 101: Introduction to American Studies (Winter Online)

2013     Instructor, American Studies 101: Introduction to American Studies (Fall)

Community Engaged Art

 2016 Documenter and Facilitator, Dance Exchange Residency. Virginia Commonwealth University (October)

2016 Core Faculty, Dance Exchange Summer Institute (July)

2015 Project Documenter, Bricks and Bones: A performance series in response to the erasure of black lives and communities in Dallas, and the movements to recover, rebuild and honor those lost histories with Dance Exchange Dance Company. Dallas,Texas (November)

2015 Content Creator, New Hampsire Avenue: This is a Place To… project with Dance Exchange Dance Company. Takoma Park, MD (July)

Publications

(Forthcoming) “Where Artifacts and Art Intersect: Dissonance in History Museums as  an Audience Engagement Tool” in Academics, Artists, and Museums: 21st-Century Partnerships published by Routledge

2016  “Wura-Natasha Ogunji: Rendering Beauty, Stillness, and Connection in  Lagos” Africa is a Country

2013 Art Review: Ai WeiWei: According to What? Powerlines Online Journal (April)

Bimbola Akinbola
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