8 Jun 2022 12:30 - 14:00 CRASSH Meeting Room/Online


The seminars provided a supportive, intellectually stimulating environment in which to share work and receive feedback from people in various disciplines.
– Dr Chana Morgenstern (Early Career Fellow in Michaelmas 2018)

This event is part of the CRASSH fellows work-in-progress seminar series. All are welcome but please register to book your place and to request readings.

Dr Vera-Simone Schulz

Focusing on a quotation by Mortimer Wheeler from the year 1955, when he called the ruined Swahili stone town of Kua on Juani island in the Maa archipelago in today’s Tanzania potentially the “Pompeii of East Africa,” this article unravels some of the many layers encapsulated in this statement. The paper contextualises the passage by Wheeler with regard to the history of archaeology, colonialism, and tourism in the region. It interrogates ways how the discipline of art history can contribute to studies of the built environment along the East African coast. And it illuminates both the necessity and the potentials of decentralising studies of the humanities on empirical-historical and methodological levels for future scholarship on the art and architecture along the Swahili coast as well as within the eld of transcultural art history more generally.



Vera-Simone Schulz is an art historian working at the crossroads of African, Islamic and European art histories and postdoctoral research associate at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut. Her research has been supported by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation, the German Research Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service, and the Bard Graduate Center in New York City, among others. From 2014 to 2018, she was academic coordinator of the international research project ‘Networks: Textile Arts and Textility in a Transcultural Perspective’, funded by the German Research Foundation. Since 2021, she is PI of the international research project ‘Material Migrations: Mamluk Metalwork across Afro-Eurasia’, funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation (together with Gertrude Aba Mansah Eyifa-Dzidzienyo, Jacopo Gnisci and Raymond Silverman).

Vera is currently co-editing a volume on Connectivity, Transcultural Entanglements and the Power of Aesthetic Choices in Africa (together with Abidemi Babatunde Babalola) and a special issue of the journal postmedieval on Ecologies of Things (together with Shirin Khanmohamadi). Her publications have appeared in Perspective: Actualité en histoire de l’art, Konsthistorisk tidskrift, Zeitschift für Kunstgeschichte, Convivium, and Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz, among other peer-reviewed journals. She is co-convener of ‘Plants in Africa and the Global South: Multi-Species Materialities, Ecologies, and Aesthetics (MMEA)’, hosted by the Consortium for History of Science, Technology, and Medicine (together with Abidemi Babatunde Babalola), and co-convener of ‘Planetary Patchwork: A Perpetual Seminar on Artistic Practices, Heritage, and Epistemologies’ (together with Nicole Remus and Evi Olde Rikkert), and very much looking forward to intellectual exchange and transdisciplinary dialogue at CRASSH.

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