Phone: (848) 932-1326
Biographical Information: Professor Brett-Smith is currently writing a book on Bamana mud cloth or bògòlanfini. This monograph is designed to balance her previous work on the production of ritual sculpture by Bamana men with an in-depth investigation of female art-making. The book will discuss the history of the mud cloth tradition, the technique of manufacture, the symbolism of the designs on the cloth, and the important role of mud cloth at critical moments -- excision, marriage, childbirth and death -- in women's lives. Her recent publications include: The Making of Bamana Sculpture: Creativity and Gender, Cambridge University Press, 1994 -- winner of the Arnold J. Rubin Award for the most outstanding book on African Art, 1993, awarded by the Arts Council of the African Studies Association, and winner of Honorable Mention for the 1995 Victor Turner Prize, awarded by the Society for Humanistic Anthropology, The Artfulness of M'Fa Jigi: An Interview with Nyamaton Diarra (University of Wisconsin Press, 1996), and "The Mouth of the Komo," RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics, 31 (1997): 71.
The Making of Bamana Sculpture: Creativity and Gender. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994. Won the Arnold J. Rubin award for the most outstanding book on African Art, 1993-1995, awarded by the Arts Council of the African Studies Association. Honorable Mention for the 1995 Victor Turner Prize awarded by the Society for Humanistic Anthropology.
The Artfulness of M’Fa Jigi: An Interview with Nyamaton Diarra. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 1996
"Symbolic Blood: Cloths for Excised Women," RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics 3 (1982b), 15-31.
1983 "The Poisonous Child," Res: Anthropology and Aesthetics, Vol. 6, pp. 47-64.
1987 "Bamanakan ka Gelen" or "The Voice of the Bamana is Hard," Art Tribal, published by the Musee Barbier-Mueller, Geneva, Vol. 2 (1987), pp. 3-15.
1997 "The Mouth of the Komo, " Res: Anthropology and Aesthetics, vol. 3 1, pp.71.
Current Interests & Research:
Bamana (Bambara) sculpture: gender and art making
--The symbolism of Bamana, Dogon, Malinke, Minianka, Senufo and Bobo textiles
--Surrealism and "primitive" art.
Undergraduate Classes Taught:
Introduction to Oceanic, African and Pre-Columbian Art
--Arts of West Africa; Arts of Central Africa
--Pre-Columbian and Meso-American Art