Samantha Noel


Ph.D., M.A. Duke University
B.A. Brooklyn College, City University of New York


My research and teaching interests lie in African Diasporic Art. Some of the courses I teach include Art of the African Diaspora, Introduction to African Art, African American Art, and Performance Art of the Black Atlantic.

I have written articles on race and representation, gender and visual culture, and the performance traditions of the African Diaspora. In one essay, I explored a series of works by Spanish artist Victor Patricio Landaluze that featured caricatured representations of late 19th-century Afro-Cuban women. I assessed how these depictions conveyed black women as the antithesis of civilized society. I then examined how contemporary artists like Renee Cox and Sonia Boyce are visually problematizing 19-century notions of civilized society by re-presenting 18th- and 19th-century black women as the unorthodox, unusual, and, thus, transgressive embodiment of modernity.

In another essay I examine the work of Cuban artist Wifredo Lam and African American artist Aaron Douglas, and look at how their representations of tropicality imply subversion and cross-cultural exchange that was so endemic in the early 20th-century black Atlantic, and was therefore indicative of modernity.

Before coming to Davidson, I taught at the University of Notre Dame and Duke University. I am originally from Trinidad and Tobago and miss the warm weather during the cold months. I enjoy hiking and trying new foods.