Janet Berry Hess

Professor of Art History/African and Diasporic Studies
Ph.D., Art History, Harvard University, 1999
M.A., Art History, Columbia University, 1993
J.D., The University of Iowa College of Law, 1988
B.A., The University of Iowa, 1985

Email:  janet.hess@sonoma.edu
Office: Rachel Carson Hall 52

Personal and Professional Interests

My academic interests include the art of Africa and the diaspora (particularly liberation-era art and architecture), American Indian culture, gender studies, and social justice. I have a background in social justice issues, having served a research assistant for David Baldus, who conducted the multiple regression statistical analysis that went before the Supreme Court in McKlesky v. Kemp, worked for Legal Aid in the state of Iowa, and undertaken death penalty work for the law firm of Minami, Lew, Tamaki, and Lee in San Francisco. My teaching experience includes visiting appointments at the University of Cape Town, South Africa; the University of California, Santa Cruz; and Northwestern University. I have served on the Faculty Senate and its Diversity Subcommittee and co-chair of the Women's Caucus, and presently serve on the Faculty Advisory Board of the SSU Multicultural Center (the HUB).

Selected Publications and Creative Activities

Osage and Settler: Reconstructing Shared History Through an Oklahoma Family Archive, Jefferson, N.C., McFarland and Co., 2015.

The Art of Richard Mayhew: A Critical Analysis with Interviews, Jefferson, N.C., McFarland and Co., 2014.

"Nkrumah/Lumumba: Representations of Masculinity," in Nicholas Creary, ed., African Intellectuals and Decolonization (Ohio RIS Africa Series), Ohio University Press, Athens, OH: 27-36.

"The Art of Richard Mayhew," NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art, Duke University Press 2011, No. 29 (Fall 2011): 100-109.

"Spectacular Nation: Nkrumahist Art and Resistance Iconography in the Independence Era," African Arts 39, No. 1 (Spring 2006): 16-25, 91-92.

Art and Architecture in Postcolonial Africa, Jefferson, N.C., McFarland and Co., 2006.

"Imagining Architecture II: 'Treasure Storehouses' and Constructions of Asante Hegemony," Africa Today 50 (1)(Spring 2003): 26-48.

"Performing Ghana: Exhibition, Documentary and Display in Nkrumah-era Ghana,”"African Studies Review (Spring 2001): 59-77.

"Regulating/Representing the Body: South Africa," Art Journal (Spring 2001): 60-69.

"Imagining Architecture: The Structure of Nationalism in Accra, Ghana," Africa Today 47 (2)(Spring 2000): 35-60.

"Embedded Objects: The Asante Goldweight, Subjectivity Formation, and Social Control," Semiotica 119-3/14 (February 1998): 176-186.

"'An Irrational Eschatology': Nkrumahism, PostNkrumahism, and the Discourse of Modernity," in Nkiru Nzegwu, ed.,Contemporary Issues in African Art (Binghamton, N.Y.: University of Binghamton Press, 1988): 176-186.