Fiona Siegenthaler is an art historian and social anthropologist with a specialization in the interdisciplinary field of contemporary African art, performance, and visual culture. She is a Research Associate at the Visual Identities, Art, and Design Research Center (University of Johannesburg) and at the chair for Social Anthropology at the University of Basel where she was an Assistant Professor from 2012-2018. Following her PhD (2012) on Imageries of Johannesburg. Visual Arts and Spatial Practices in a Transforming City, she coordinated the SNF-funded research project Art/Articulation: Art and the Formation of Social Space in African Cities (2015-2018). As part of her current research project, she has been conducting research in Kampala (Uganda) since 2015 and was awarded a Fulbright Visiting Scholarship at Columbia University, New York in 2018.
With a focus and expertise in visual arts, Fiona’s research interests are inter- and transdisciplinary in scope and include art history, artistic research, anthropologies of the senses, of the body, and of knowledge, media and urban anthropology as well as theoretical explorations in the fields of representational critique, non-representational theory and de-colonial thought. Her multifaceted professional experience and expertise in higher education, art education, museum practice, curatorial work, contemporary art markets, and independent art projects complement her academic practice as a researcher and lecturer.
Fiona is a board member of the Arts Council of the African Studies Association (ACASA), a founding member of the Centre for African Studies Basel – Research Network Africa and engages in various other interdisciplinary research networks and associations.