Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Van Beurden
Ohio State University
Website URL
African history, African art history, DR Congo, art restitution, museums, , colonialism, decolonization, collecting, cultural politics
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Sarah Van Beurden (BA KULeuven, PhD University of Pennsylvania) is a historian of colonial and postcolonial central Africa. She is interested in the ways culture is constructed, represented, and used in political contexts and has published on the history of museums, art restitution, decolonization, heritage and conservation politics, and the history of anthropology and art history. Her book, Authentically African: Arts and the Transnational Politics of Congolese Culture (New African Histories Series, Ohio University Press, 2015) investigates the role of museum politics in the legitimation of the Belgian colonial regime and the postcolonial Mobutu regime in Congo/Zaire. It tells a new history of decolonization as a struggle over cultural categories, the possession of cultural heritage, and the right to define and represent cultural identities.

Van Beurden is currently an associate professor of History and African American and African Studies at the Ohio State University, and a visiting scholar at the University of Gent in Belgium.

Recent Publications
Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
Expertise by Chronology
Expertise by Topic
Art & Architectural History, Colonialism, Museums, Politics