David Riep received a MA in art history from the University of Kentucky (2005) and a Ph.D. (2011) in art history from the University of Iowa with a specialization in the arts of Africa. David's area of research centers on South Sotho art and history in southern Africa. He spent over 5-years living in South Africa between 2000 and 2011 working with several NGOs and completing his field research. Most recently, David has been involved in an ongoing multi-disciplinary project entitled Africa Meets Africa, which explores southern African cultural heritage and uses cultural context as a link to understanding the Arts, Mathematics, Language, and History. This non-profit project produces a series of interactive learning materials for the South African public school system, including publications and DVDs, and provides educator training and support in the use of the materials. In addition to his ongoing research, David is interested in the multidisciplinary topics of cultural formation and identity, and enjoys engaging with the concept of continuity and change in global art production. These interests have led him to produce several documentary films on the arts and cultures of southern Africa, which serve as an archive of artists, artistic processes, and culturally sensitive events, and allows one to contextualize the arts of Africa within a classroom setting. David served as an At-Large member on the board of directors for the Arts Council of the African Studies Association (ACASA) from 2012-2015, and was the association's newsletter editor and liaison to the College Art Association (CAA).
PhD., Art History
Symbols of Self: Art and Identity in Southern Africa. Iowa City, IA: The University of Iowa Museum of Art (2017).
“Earth, Art, and the Ancestors: The spiritual aspects of terra-firma in ceramic arts across the African continent,” in Crossing Communities: Beer culture across Africa, Fort Collins, CO: The Gregory Allicar Museum of Art, pp. 10-17.
Book Review "Repainting the Walls of Lunda: Information Colonialism and Angolan Art" by Delinda Collier. CAA.reviews (2017).
"Histories of South Sotho Beadwork," In: Beadwork, Art and the Body: Dilo Tse Dintsi/Abundance (Anitra Nettleton, ed.), Johannesburg: Wits University Press, pp. 50-73.
“Hot Women! South Sotho female arts in context," African Arts, 47 (3): 24-39.
"Visual Symbols of Self: South Sotho Arts and Initiation." Art and Life in Africa Online (The University of Iowa). October 2014. http://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/topic-essays/show/43
Contributing writer, Africa Meets Africa: My Room at the Center of the Universe. Johannesburg: The Africa Meets Africa Project. 2014.
"Seeing Sesotho: Art, history, and the visual language of South Sotho identity." Southern African Humanities. 25 (2013): 217-244.
Contributing writer, Africa Meets Africa: Pathways Through the Interior. Creative Arts and Mathematics Senior Phase Level: Grade 9 Teacher's Guide. Johannesburg: The Africa Meets Africa Project. 2014.
Contributing writer, Africa Meets Africa: Pathways Through the Interior. Johannesburg: The Africa Meets Africa Project. 2011.
"Visual Revision: Intersecting Art and Film in the work of Jean-Marie Teno and Raoul Peck,” Journal of African Cinema, 3 (1): 81-92.
"The Work of Jean-Marie Teno & Raoul Peck: Restoring Life to a Fleeced Continent,” African Literature Today, 28 (October 2010): 41-54.
“Collections at Work: Objects and Attribution.” Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, Fall/Spring 2007/08.
Book Review “Museum Frictions: Public Cultures/Global Transformations” by Ivan Karp. Ed. Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, Fall/Spring 2007/08.
DVD “Beer Making in Southern Africa.” Director, editor, and producer. Distributed by Createspace, 2012.
DVD “South Sotho Mural Art – Southern Africa.” Director, editor, and producer. Distributed by Createspace, 2009.
DVD “South Sotho Pot Making – Southern Africa.” Director, editor, and producer. Distributed by Createspace, 2008.