Alexandra M. Thomas

Aly Thomas is a PhD candidate in History of Art and African American Studies, with a certificate in Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies.

Interdisciplinary in nature, her research focuses are: global modern and contemporary art; African and African diaspora visual culture; feminist and queer theory; performance studies; architecture, film, and media. Aly’s dissertation, “In the Hand of Afrekete: Black Queer Feminist Errantry and Global African Art,” explores mixed media assemblage as a site of worldmaking.

She is co-teaching the fall 2022 “Critical Practice” course for Yale MFA students.  Her seminar focuses on issues of race, migration, and diaspora. She has also taught African and African diaspora art history courses at UMass Amherst and Fairfield University.

Aly is curating the upcoming exhibition, “Homecoming: Domesticity and Kinfulness in Global African Art,” (2023) at the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, where she is the 2021-2023 curatorial research associate in African art.

At the Yale Art Gallery, Aly researches 19th century African American portraiture as a curatorial intern in Modern and Contemporary. Prior to that, she worked on the reinstallation of the African art collection as a 2020-2021 curatorial research assistant. In 2018, she was a Wurtele Gallery Teacher. 

Since 2021, she is one of the assistant directors for the Schomburg Mellon Summer Humanities Institute in Harlem, where she herself was a fellow in 2017.

Aly has worked with various other museums and cultural institutions, including: Mystic Seaport Museum/Discovering Amistad, Museum of Modern Art, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Rose Art Museum, and the Guggenheim Museum. 

Her art criticism has appeared in many print magazines, web-based publications, and exhibition catalogues, detailed on her updated C.V. that can be found here.

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS:

Exhibition Review of African Arts — Global Conversations at the Brooklyn Museum, African Arts (2022). 

“Black Radical Imagination,” co-authored with Clara I. Díaz, Tiera Lee, Andrea Lewis, Anthony Reid, Amiri Tulloch, Studio Magazine, Studio Museum Harlem (2022). 

Book Review of Media Primitivism: Technological Art in Africa, Media-N, Journal of the New Media Caucus (2022). 

“Coding: Braiding: Transmission: On the Aesthetic Life of Dark Sousveillance,” Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory (2021).