Salah M. Hassan is Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences in Africana Studies, and Director of the Institute for Comparative Modernities (ICM), and professor of art history and visual culture in the Africana Studies and Research Center, and the Department of History of Art and Visual Studies, Cornell University. Salah M. Hassan is the Director of The Africa Institute, Sharjah, UAE.
He served as the Madeleine Haas Russell Professor, Departments of African and Afro-American Studies and Fine Arts, Brandeis University (2016-2018). Hassan is an art critic and curator, and editor and co-founder of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art (Duke University Press). He currently serves as a member of the editorial advisory board of Atlantica, Journal of Curatorial Studies and International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. He also served as consulting editor of African Arts.
He authored, edited and co-edited several books including Darfur and the Crisis of Governance: A Critical Reader (2009), and Diaspora, Memory, Place (2008); Unpacking Europe (2001); Authentic/Ex-Centric (2001); Gendered Visions: The Art of Contemporary Africana Women Artists (1997); and Art and Islamic Literacy among the Hausa of Northern Nigeria (1992). He guest edited a special issue of SAQ: South Atlantic Quarterly, titled African Modernism (2010). His book Ibrahim El Salahi: A Visionary Modernist, was published in 2012 in conjunction with the retrospective of the Sudanese artist, Ibrahim El Salahi exhibited at The Tate Modern in London this past summer (July-October, 2013) after premiering at the Sharjah Art Museum (in March 2013) in Sharjah, UAE. Hassan edited and introduced, Ibrahim El-Salahi: Prison Notebook (New York and Sharjah, MOMA and SAF Publications, 2018). Hassan has contributed essays to journals, anthologies and exhibition catalogues of contemporary art. He has curated several international exhibitions such as Authentic/Ex-Centric (49th Venice Biennale, 2001), Unpacking Europe (Rotterdam, 2001-02), and 3x3: Three Artists/Three: David Hammons, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Pamela Z (Dak'Art, 2004). He also curated several exhibitions for the Sharjah Art Foundation including The Khartoum School: The Making of the Modern Art Movement in Sudan, 1945-2016 (2016-2017), and When Art Becomes Liberty: The Egyptian Surrealists (1938–1965) (2016).
He is the recipient of several grants and fellowships, such as the J. Paul Getty Postdoctoral Fellowship, as well as major grants from the Sharjah Art Foundation, Ford, Rockefeller, Andy Warhol and Prince Claus Fund foundations. Most recently Hassan has been honored as the 2021 Distinguished Professor by the College Art Association (CAA), the oldest and largest scholarly organization for history and criticism of the visual arts.