• KY16 9AJ

    United Kingdom

Accepting Postgraduate Research Students

PhD projects

I am interested in supervising dissertations on subjects related to the historic, modern and contemporary arts of Africa (particularly Ethiopia), colonial / post-colonial collections of art from Africa, arts of the African diaspora (particularly in the UK), Cold War art and culture (non-aligned countries, Soviet-African cultural exchange, etc) and non-Western art historiography.

Personal profile

Research overview

I am historian of art from Africa, with a particular focus on Ethiopia, and on modern and contemporary practices. I am currently writing my first book, titled 'Beyond the Feudal Fog: Art and Revolution in Ethiopia.' This project engages my broader research interests in the arts of revolution, Cold War cultures, African socialism and cultural exchange between Africa and the Eastern bloc.

My other research interests include the historiography of African art study, particularly during the Cold War period, histories of African cinema, African art in the jet age, and collections of both historic and modern art from Africa in the UK.

In addition to this, I am leading an ongoing project focused on twelve works of modernist art from East Africa housed in the Argyll Collection on the west coast of Scotland. See www.dartodunoon.com for more information.


I have been a Lecturer in Art History since 2018. Prior to joining St Andrews, I was Post-Doctoral Fellow in Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of Maryland Center for Art and Knowledge at the Phillips Collection, Washington D.C.

I have a PhD (2017) from Stanford University, an MA (2009) from the Courtauld institute of Art and an MA (2005) from University of Edinburgh. In August 2022, I was made a member of the RSE's Young Academy of Scotland.

Profile Keywords

Arts of Africa; modern and contemporary art; African cinema; Cold War cultures; colonial and post-colonial art collections in the UK.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities


Dive into the research topics where Kate Ellen Cowcher is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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