Rebecca L. Skinner Green
Associate Professor, Art History
Ph.D., Indiana University, African, Oceanic, and Pre-Columbian Art History, 1996
MA, Indiana University, African, Oceanic, and Pre-Columbian Art History, 1991
BA, University of California at Santa Barbara, Art History (Honors in African Art History), 1986
Teaching Specialization: World Art and culture
Director of Africana Studies Program: 2017-2022
Chair of the Division of Art History: 2001-06, 2008-11, 2015-16
Green teaches graduate and undergraduate courses including surveys, and all the World art history courses offered at BGSU: African, Oceanic, Asian, and MesoAmerican art and culture. She also teaches two study-abroad courses to Ghana, West Africa and Bali, Indonesia.
Areas of Research/Artistic Focus:
Her research focuses on traditional and contemporary art and culture in Africa, with particular specialization on Madagascar, where she studies the elaborate relationships between ancestors, funerary practices, divination, gender roles, and traditional and contemporary art. Her research is also expanding into art and culture in the Caribbean, with primary focus on Trinidad and Tobago. Her work has been sponsored by a Social Science Research Council fellowship, a Foreign Language Area Studies grant, a Fulbright fellowship, two Fulbright-Hays fellowships, and an American Association of University Women fellowship, and has been the subject for articles, books, edited volumes, and curated exhibitions.
Green's most recent conference presentations include a series of papers co-authored with Ewart C. Skinner, including: LeRoy Clarke and the Psyche of Development, on the panel Philosophical Perspectives on Development and Contemporary Caribbean Art co-chaired with Ewart C. Skinner, presented at the 38th annual Caribbean Studies Association conference in Grenada (2013). LeRoy Clarke: The Frontier of the Spirits, presented at the 55th Annual African Studies Association conference in Philadelphia (2012). Community Artistic Response to HIV/AIDS in Trinidad: Exploring (And Accepting) the Faces of HIV/AIDS, and Crichlow: Exploring Questions of Authenticity, Interconnectivity, and Self in Caribbean Art, both presented at the 37th annual Caribbean Studies Association in Guadeloupe (2012). Additional recent papers include: Community Murals in South Africa: Potentials for Caribbean Artistic Response to HIV/AIDS (co-authored with Lynn M. Brinkman), presented at the 2011 Caribbean HIV conference in The Bahamas (2011), and Kenwyn Crichlow: Post-Colonial Revisioning and Reimagining of the Caribbean Aesthetic (co-authored with Ewart C. Skinner), presented at the 15th Triennial Symposium of the Arts Council of the African Studies Association in Los Angeles (2011).
Green's most recent publications include a number of chapters, such as: "Conceptions of Identity and Tradition in Highland Malagasy Clothing," in Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture. Special Issue: African Fashion/African Style. Victoria Rovine (editor), 13(2):177-214. June 2009; and "From Cemetery to Runway: Dress and Identity in Highland Madagascar," in Contemporary African Fashion. Suzanne Gott and Tina Loughran (eds). pp.138-153. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press. 2010. Green has also authored: "Kanga/Proverb Cloths‚" in Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion, Valerie Steele (ed.), Detroit: Charles Scribner & Sons, 2005; "Betsileo Textiles: Negotiating Identity Between the Living and the Dead," in Unwrapping A Little-Known Textile Tradition: The Field Museum's Madagascar Textile Collection. Chapurukha M. Kusimba, Judy Odland, and Bennet Bronson (eds). Los Angeles: UCLA's Fowler Museum, 2005; and "Ancestral Dreams: Re-Visiting the Past, Re-Living the Present, Re-Creating the Future," in Memory and Representation: Constructed Truths and Competing Realities. Eber, Dena E., and Arthur G. Neal (eds), Bowling Green: Popular Culture Press, 2001.
Green is currently writing two books, on traditional arts of highland Madagascar, and on contemporary Malagasy art, as well as working on projects concerning the use of public community art in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean, and is currently involved in an extensive research project on contemporary artists in Trinidad/Tobago.
Areas of Research/Artistic Focus Dr. Skinner Green’s research focuses on traditional and contemporary art and culture in Africa, with particular specialization on Madagascar, where she studies the elaborate relationships between ancestors, funerary practices, divination, gender roles, and traditional and contemporary art. Her research also includes art and culture in the Caribbean, with primary focus on foundational contemporary artists in post-colonial Trinidad and Tobago. Her work has been sponsored by a Social Science Research Council fellowship, a Foreign Language Area Studies grant, a Fulbright fellowship, two Fulbright-Hays fellowships, and an American Association of University Women fellowship, and has been the subject for articles, books, edited volumes, and curated exhibitions. Recent Accomplishments Skinner Green has published primarily on arts and cultures in Madagascar and Trinidad and on traditional arts, contemporary arts, funerary arts, textiles, and fashion, including “Once is Never Enough: Textiles, Ancestors, and Reburials in Highland Madagascar” (1998), and “Exploring Black Masculinity: Three Caribbean Artists” in Visible Man: Art and Black Subjectivity (2021), “From Cemetery to Runway: Dress and Identity in Highland Madagascar,” in Contemporary African Fashion edited by Suzanne Gott and Tina Loughran (2010), and “Conceptions of Identity and Tradition in Highland Malagasy Clothing” in a special issue of Journal of Fashion Theory. Cultured Body: African Fashion and Body Arts edited by Victoria Rovine (2009). She has been called to review exhibitions, films, and books, including: a 2022 film review by invitation from African Studies Review on “Fahavalo: Madagascar 1947,” a 2018 film by Marie Clémence Andriamonta-Paes (director/producer); and an exhibition Review in 2016 on: Constantijn Petridis’ "Senufo: Art and Identity in West Africa" at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and accompanying catalog by Susan Elizabeth Gagliardi titled, "Senufo Unbound: Dynamics of Art and Identity in West Africa."
Skinner Green has curated or co-curated exhibitions and conferences, including serving as Consulting Curator for Caribbean Artists, for the exhibition: Visible Man: Art and Black Male Subjectivity, at BGSU from Sept 24-Nov 7, 2021 (a show that also traveled to North Carolina in 2022), and as Curator of a small exhibition in Toronto at the Madagascar Workshop on Richard Razafindrakoto: Malagasy Artist from Oct 25-26, 2019. She has also chaired and co-chaired the Africana Studies Student Research Conference at BGSU, an event that has attracted graduate and undergraduate students from as far away as Minnesota, Wisconsin, New York, and Jamaica, from its inception in 1998-2003, and from 2013 to its most recent iteration in 2019.
Skinner Green presents at international conferences, most notably the annual African Studies Association, the triennial Arts Council of the African Studies Association, and the annual Caribbean Studies Association. Some of her most recent presentations include Richard Razafindrakoto: The Nexus of Malagasy Traditional Practices and Contemporary Art presented in 2021 for ACASA; The Global/Local Nexus: Peter Minshall’s Carnival Masquerade in Trinidad and Tobago for Popular Culture Association in 2021; From Storehouse to Living Museum: Trinidad and Tobago’s National Museum and Art Gallery presented for ASA in 2020; Richard Razafindrakoto: Malagasy Artist presented for the Madagascar Workshop in Toronto in 2019; Wendy Nanan: Art as Transmission of Knowledge presented at CSA in Cuba in 2018; African Connections Embodied by Three Trinidadian Contemporary Painters presented in Ghana West Africa for ACASA in 2017; African Connections in the Caribbean: Case Studies of Three Trinidadian Painters, for the Midwest Art History Society in 2017; Glenn Roopchand, Visual Poet: We Are All One presented in Haiti for CSA in 2016; Forging the Path: Establishing Contemporary Art in Trinidad and Tobago for BGSU’s Institute of Culture Studies Fellow’s lecture in 2016; Makemba Kunle and the Studio 66 Experience: Bridging the Gap presented in New Orleans for CSA in 2015; Carlisle Harris: Reconciling History and the Human Condition through Art presented in Indianapolis for ASA in 2014; and Peter Minshall: The Local within the Global World of Trinidad and Tobago Carnival presented in Mexico for CSA in 2013. She has earlier presented on LeRöy Clarke, Kenwyn Crichlow, Community arts on HIV/AIDS in Trinidad, and on contemporary and traditional arts in Madagascar. She has served as a keynote speaker for research and scholarship at BGSU, and at Indiana University, and given lectures at Cleveland State University, DePauw University, James Madison University, and Valparaiso University. She has delivered papers in English, French, and Malagasy. Skinner Green has been interviewed as part BGSU’s Institute of Culture Studies Podcast, Great Ideas, to discuss the Visible Man exhibition (2021), and for a special on death for National Geographic’s Taboo series (2011/12), and has worked closely with Madagascar’s National Museum of Art and Archaeology since 1992, curating the first ever series of exhibitions on contemporary art in (2004) about which she was interviewed in Malagasy by Madagascar’s National Television.
Skinner Green has also published on fashion in relation to identity and tradition in Highland Madagascar, Kanga proverb cloths of East Africa, Betsileo burial shrouds and fashion in Madagascar, and textiles and funerary practices in relation to memory and representation of self and culture. Skinner Green is currently finalizing a manuscript on foundational contemporary artists in post-colonial Trinidad/Tobago, with co-authors Ewart Skinner and Kenwyn Crichlow. She has a book chapter titled, “Ronald Williams: It’s all about Respect,” in New Perspectives on Black Popular Culture, edited by David Moody. She also has two additional writing projects, on traditional arts of highland Madagascar and on contemporary Malagasy art, as well as working on projects concerning the use of public community art in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean.
Faculty member at BGSU since 1996.
Updated: 01/16/2023 05:50PM