Cynthia Becker

beckerpixAssociate Professor of History of Art & Architecture

Office: 725 Commonwealth Ave., Room 305B
Phone: 617-353-1471
Education: B.A., University of New Orleans; M.A., Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison
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Cynthia Becker is a scholar of African and African diaspora arts specializing in the arts of the Imazighen (Berbers) in northwestern Africa, specifically Morocco, Algeria, and Niger. Her research has been supported by grants from Fulbright, the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, Fulbright-Hays, the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study at Harvard University and the American Institute of Maghreb Studies.  Professor Becker has served as a consultant for numerous museum exhibitions and published articles on the visual and performing arts of the Imazighen (Berbers).  Her book Amazigh Arts in Morocco: Women Shaping Berber Identity was published by the University of Texas Press in July of 2006.  She is co-author of Desert Jewels: Jewelry and Photography from the Xavier Guerrand-Hermès Collection (New York: Museum for African Art, 2009) and wrote extensive essays for the catalog Berber Women of Morocco (Paris: Éditions d’art Lys, 2014).  She is finishing a book about the Afro-Islamic aesthetics and ceremonial practices of the Gnawa (descendants of former slaves in Morocco) that considers visual representations of blackness and constructions of racial ideologies by and in relation to the descendants of enslaved Africans in Morocco, known as Gnawa.  A native of New Orleans, she co-edited a special edition of the journal African Arts dealing with the performance of “Africa” in New Orleans in which she published an article on the Mardi Gras Indians.