Curator

Ruth Simbao is Associate Professor of Art History & Visual Culture at Rhodes University and has a PhD in African Art History from Harvard University. Before she started her PhD she worked as a freelance curator and arts writer in Toronto, Canada, and was a curatorial intern at the Art Gallery of Ontario and the National Gallery of Canada. In 1998 she was a Research Fellow at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. For two years Simbao lived in Zambia and conducted fieldwork research on performance in relation to cultural festivals. Her current research is on issues of 'place', space, site-specificity, diaspora, xenophobia, the Global South and cosmopolitanism in relation to contemporary art in South Africa, Zambia and China. Simbao has published in various journals including Third Text, Parachute, African Arts, Mix, Art South Africa, De Arte, NKA: Journal for Contemporary African Art, The International Journal for African Historical Studies and the Journal of the Contemporary African Art: New Approaches (JACANA). She has written essays for exhibitions in Toronto, Chicago, Denmark, Washington DC and South Africa and her work has been translated into Portuguese, Spanish and Danish. Simbao has presented her work in academic conferences in South Africa, the USA, Jamaica, Hong Kong, Australia and Canada, and in 2010 was a keynote speaker at the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, Portugal. In 2009 she was the recipient of the Vice Chancellor's Distinguished Research Award and is currently the Project Leader for the Humanities Focus Area: Visual and Performing Arts of Africa.