Michael W. Zhang

African Art


Michael W. Zhang is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Art & Archaeology specializing in African art history. He is also affiliated with the Department of African American Studies. His dissertation examines the connections between art, capital, and politics during the late apartheid period in South Africa. He received his B.A. from McGill University in 2014, an M.A. from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2016, and an M.A. from Princeton University in 2019.

In addition to academics, Zhang is engaged with higher education administration and civic service. He was a University Administrative Fellow in the Center for Career Development during the 2020–2021 academic year. Prior to this, he was a Fellow in the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School. In 2021, he was appointed a RISE Fellow for racial and social justice. As a RISE Fellow, he worked with the Museum of Chinese in America on an oral history project documenting the experiences of Asian-Americans living in New York City during the COVID-19 pandemic. He has previously served on the University Student Life Committee, the Lake Campus Graduate Housing Development Committee, and the Faculty-Student Committee on Sexual Misconduct at Princeton University, in addition to a Presidential Advisory Committee at UBC.

Zhang is a co-investigator of Museumverse, a project funded by the Humanities Council of Princeton University that connects art and cultural institutions with emerging digital and virtual technologies.

Selected Publications

Increasing Career Opportunities Through Experiential Learning,” Inside Higher Ed, July 12, 2021, (co-written with Dr. Gaeun Seo).

“The Standard Bank African Art Collection: Notes from the First Twelve Years, 1977–1989,” in Seen, Heard, and Valued: WAM Celebrates 40 Years of the Standard Bank African Art Collection, Wits Art Museum, 2021.

African Art
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