headshot of Sharlene

Sharlene Khan

Fall 2023

Associate Professor in Visual Arts. University of Witwatersrand, South Africa.

Sharlene Khan is a South African visual artist and scholar whose multi-media works focus on the socio-political realities of a post-apartheid society and the intersectionality of race-gender-class. She holds a PhD (Arts) from Goldsmiths and is Associate Professor at the Department of Fine Arts, Wits School of the Arts, Wits University, Johannesburg. She has exhibited in the UK, Italy, France, Germany, South Africa, India, South Korea and Greece. Her writings have appeared in Art South Africa, Artthrob, Springerin, Manifesta journal, Contemporary-And, The Conversation Africa, Imbizo: International Journal of African Literary and African Studies, Agenda and The Palgrave Handbook of Race and the Arts in Education. She was a recipient of the Rockefeller Bellagio Visual Arts residency (2009), the Canon Collins/Commonwealth Scholarship (2011), the African Humanities Postdoctoral Fellowship (2017), the National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences Award for Visual Arts (2018) and was runner-up winner in the Videokunst Preis Bremen video art award (2015).  Her catalogues include: “What I look like, What I feel like” (2009), “I Make Art” (2017) and “When the moon waxes red… Negotiating Subjective Terrain as an ‘Inside-Outsider’, an ‘Outside-Insider'” (2019). 

The purpose of my visit to Penn State University is a writing fellowship in which I will be working on the drafts of two books – one is on South African women-of-colour visual artists (interviews and critical essays) and the other is an attempt at writing a biomythography of growing up in apartheid South Africa and coming of age in post-apartheid South Africa.

Learn More About Dr. Khan.