Lisa Homann

Lisa Homann
Art & Art History
Associate Professor of Art History
Rowe 219

Faculty Research Connections Profile

Lisa Homann is an associate professor of art history at UNC Charlotte. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Art History from the University of California, Los Angeles. Specializing in West African masquerade practices from the late 19th century to the present, her research concentrates on creative innovation, ethical methodologies, patronage, performance, and Muslim identities.

Most recently she co-authored (with Amanda Maples, New Orleans Museum of Art and Jordan Fenton, Miami University, Ohio) a $500,000 National Endowment for the Humanities Implementation Grant for the internationally traveling exhibition and scholarly publication entitled New Masks Now: Artists Innovating Masquerade in Contemporary West Africa. The exhibition will open at the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) in Spring 2025 before traveling to a host of venues, including the Frist Art Museum, Nashville; Mint Museum, Charlotte; National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution; and the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg. A concurrent version of the exhibition will open at the Museum of Black Civilizations (MCN) in Dakar and travel to the Sierra Leone National Museum, Freetown and the National Commission for Museums and Monuments Calabar, Nigeria. Organized by Amanda M. Maples, NOMA’s Françoise Billion Richardson Curator of African Art; Jordan A. Fenton, Associate Professor of Art History at Miami University (Ohio); and Lisa Homann with collaborators Hervé Youmbi and Aimé Kantoussan, Director of Research at the MCN, this exhibition tells the stories of four contemporary artists working with the medium of masquerade (Hervé Youmbi from Cameroon, Chief Ekpenyong Bassey Nsa from Nigeria, David Sanou from Burkina Faso, and Sheku Fofanah from Sierra Leone).

She is also working on a book, tentatively titled Visibly Muslim: White Mask Performance in Southwestern Burkina Faso. It considers how a masquerade, through its visual aesthetic and performance, can identify participants as Muslims and strengthen and challenge expectations of appropriate (public) behavior. While focusing on the history of this masquerade’s visual and performance aesthetics, the book project aims to problematize a perceived binary hostility between Islam and African art, particularly masquerade. 

Homann serves on UNC’s editorial board in the publishing consortium for the journal African Arts. She has published articles and editorials in ResAfrican Arts, and Africa and her video footage of ephemeral masquerades is in the North Carolina Museum of Art's permanent collection.