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AAH welcomes two new faculty members in the fall

The Department of Art & Art History extends a warm welcome to two new faculty members, Morehshin Allahyari and Joshua I. Cohen, who will join, respectively, the Art Practice and the Art History program in the fall of 2024. We are thrilled to be growing our community of scholars and makers and further diversifying the university’s class offerings in the arts.  

Morehshin Allahyari

Incoming Assistant Professor, Art Practice

Morehshin Allahyari (Persian: موره شین اللهیاری‎), is a NY and Oakland based Iranian-Kurdish artist using 3D simulation, video, sculpture, and digital fabrication as tools to re-figure myth and history. Through archival practices and storytelling, her work weaves together complex counternarratives in opposition to the lasting influence of Western technological colonialism in the context of MENA (Middle East and North Africa).

Morehshin has been part of numerous exhibitions, festivals, and workshops around the world including Venice Biennale di Archittectura, New Museum, The Whitney Museum of American Art, Pompidou Center, Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal, Tate Modern, Queens Museum, and Dallas Museum of Art. She has been an artist in residence at Carnegie Mellon University’s STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, Autodesk Pier9 Workshop in San Francisco, the Vilém Flusser Residency Program for Artistic Research in association with Transmediale, Berlin, Eyebeam’s one year Research Residency, Pioneer Works, and Harvest Works. Her work has been featured in Art21, The New York Times, BBC, Huffington Post, Wired, National Public Radio, Parkett Art Magazine, Frieze, Rhizome, Hyperallergic, and Al Jazeera, among others.

She is the recipient of The University of California, Berkeley Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellowship Award (2024), The United States Artist Fellowship (2021), The Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant (2019), The Sundance Institute New Frontier International Fellowship (2019), and the Leading Global Thinkers of 2016 award by Foreign Policy magazine. Her artworks are in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Current Museum.

Joshua I. Cohen

Incoming Associate Professor, Art History

Joshua I. Cohen is a historian of modern art specializing in postcolonial, African/diaspora, and global Cold War studies. His research and teaching explore modernist practices and discourses spanning francophone West Africa, southern Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, and the United States.

Cohen is the author of The “Black Art” Renaissance: African Sculpture and Modernism across Continents (University of California Press; Modernist Studies Association First Book Prize, honorable mention, 2020), the first scholarly monograph to track the diverse presence of canonical African sculpture within modernism on a transatlantic scale. With Foad Torshizi and Vazira Zamindar, he co-edited an issue of ARTMargins devoted to Art History, Postcolonialism, and the Global Turn (2023). Other writing has appeared in The Art Bulletin, African Arts, Journal of Black Studies, Journal of Southern African Studies, Burlington Magazine, Wasafiri, Africa Is a Country, Germinal, and various edited volumes (see here for an archive of publications).

His current book project, tentatively titled Art of the Opaque: African Modernism, Decolonization, and the Cold War, has received generous support from the Dedalus Foundation, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Committee on Globalization & Social Change at the CUNY Graduate Center. Taking modernism as a transnational, cross-media, and genre-blurring phenomenon, the project focuses on artists and intellectuals—Gerard Sekoto, Fodéba Keita, Alioune Diop, and Serge Hélénon, among others—whose practices developed between Africa and its diaspora in the fraught political contexts of decolonization and the global Cold War. A related retrospective exhibition, Serge Hélénon: The Black-Caribbean School, opened at Aicon Gallery, New York, in December 2023.

Before coming to Stanford, Prof. Cohen taught for ten years at the City College of New York and the CUNY Graduate Center.