Thabang Monoa

Lecturer – Art History

Dr. Thabang Monoa’s research interests involve art history, art criticism, visual culture, curatorial practice and cultural studies. He completed his undergraduate studies at the Tshwane University of Technology and then went on to work and study at the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA) at the University of Johannesburg where he worked as an Art Historian in the faculty’s Department of Visual Art. His doctoral study, which he undertook with the SARChI Chair in South African Art and Visual Culture, focused on the notion of Blackness in Afrofuturist aesthetics. Monoa is currently a member of the CAA (College Art Association) based in the United States of America, he is a former council member of SAVAH (South African Visual Art Historians) and is a co-convenor of the Gerard Sekoto Summer School, which is administered through the Johannesburg Art Gallery. In his current capacity as a lecturer in Art History at the University of Cape Town’s Michealis School of Fine Art, Monoa continues to generate academic output dealing with concerns in contemporary art and aesthetics.


  • 2020: Cosmo-dramas of the Afrofuture. Paper delivered at the conference: Angels, Ancestors, Alchemy and the Arts of Africa hosted by the University of Pretoria.
  • 2019: Blackness and futurity (from my PhD research). Presentation given at Workshop on the States of Black Studies hosted by JIAS (Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study).
  • 2019: Themes concerned with Blackness from my PhD research. Presentation given at The Imagined New conference/workshop hosted by the University of Johannesburg.
  • 2018: Imag(in)ing new archives for (new) black bodies. A paper presented at the University of Johannesburg. 2018: Examining ‘Troubling Legacies’ through an Afrofuturist lens. A paper presented at the SAVAH conference at Stellenbosch University.
  • 2017: The dualities of Blackness in Afrofuturist aesthetics. A paper presented at the CAA (College Art Association) conference in New York City.
  •  2017: Cultural Trauma: A fertile ground for Afrophilia?!. A paper presented at the SAVAH conference at the Tshwane University of Technology.
  • 2016: Looking beyond the Fanonian horizon: decolonizing now. A paper presented at the SAVAH conference at the University of Johannesburg in 2016.
  • 2015: Aspects of liminality and communitas in Gordon Frouds’ Democratic Curatorship. This paper, co-authored with Gordon Froud, was presented at the SAVAH conference at the University of Kwa Zulu Natal in 2015.
  • 2014: Seeking a better way forward: Critiquing Ubuntu, African Renaissance and Post-Africanism as strategies in the post millennium agenda at 2014 International conference on Arts, Culture, Heritage and the National Development Plan: Vision for 2030. A paper presented at the Tshwane University of Technology in 2014.


  • 2022: Further and further out: Ngobeni’s pursuit of Freedom. Published by Iwalewa Books.
  • 2021: The intricacies of Sovereignty. Article published by Critical Times (Duke University), edited by Prof. Victoria Collins-Buthelezi.
  • 2021: Cosmo-dramas of the Afrofuture. Article published by Pharos Journal of Theology in 2021 edited by Dr. Raita Steyn & Dr. Delene Human.
  • 2021: The Ruses of the Afrophilia Condition. Chapter appears in the book: The De-Africanization of African Art: Towards Post-African Aesthetics edited by Prof. Denis Ekpo and Dr. Pfunzo Sidogi (Routledge Publishers).
  • 2021: What lies in between? Musings on the Joburg Contemporary Art Foundation. Essay written for Mail & Guardian 15-what-lies-in-between-musings-on-the-joburg-contemporary-art-foundation/
  • 2021: Gabi Ngcobo investigates specters of the museum. Essay written for Contemporary And (C&)
  • 2021: The Portfolio: The Johannesburg Art Gallery Summer and Winter School. Essay written for Mail & Guardian,
  • 2021: Catalogue essay titled: “Whose land is it anyway? Ëncountering Avi Sooful’s Landscapes for her catalogue/exhibition Improbable Landscapes which opened at the Pretoria Arts Association.
  • 2019: Art Movements and the Discourse of Acknowledgements and Distinctions, by Themba Tsotsi (2019), Vernon Press. Book reviewed for De Arte: Vol. 54, No.1, pp.108-110
  • 2018: Catalogue essay titled: From looms to luminaries: Aspects of liminality and communitas in Gordon Frouds’ democratic curatorship and collecting for Gordon Froud’s seminal exhibition titled, Harmonia: Sacred Geometry, the pattern of existence at Standard Bank Gallery.

(Seminars/Public engagements):

  • 2020: Discussant for book launch themed: The Black Register, a conversation with Tendayi Sithole (University of South Africa), Victoria Collis-Buthelezi (University of Johannesburg), and Thabang Monoa (University of Johannesburg), moderated by David Theo Goldberg (UCLA Irvine).
  • 2020: Respondent to Prof. Anthony Bogues (Brown University) in a two-way conversation titled "Black Critique/Black Lives Matter, Breath and Human Life" hosted by VIAD (Visual Identities in Art and Design, University of Johannesburg) and CSSJ (Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, Brown University).
  • 2019: We live in Violence: a seminar on visual responses to xenophobia and gender based violence. Presentation given at University of Johannesburg, for the Department of Visual Art (September 2019).
  • 2018: Chaired a panel at the CURATORIAL CARE, HUMANISING PRACTICES conference hosted by VIAD at the University of Johannesburg.
  • 2018: Discussant at the ABSA L’Atelier Colloquium titled: Art in the time of Africa, a post-colonial gaze on African contemporary art practice, art criticism, art publishing, theory and philosophy of art, within a Pan African context.
  • 2014: Presented a lecture on Michael Selekane’s work at the Kopanong Art Studio Residency Programme (KASRP).

Professional Practice:

  • 2021: Co-convener of the Johannesburg Art Gallery Summer/Winter School.
  • 2019: Facilitated a walkabout at Turbine Art Fair.
  • 2019: Regional judge for Sasol New Signatures.
  • 2019: Judge for ABSA L’Atelier.
  • 2018: National judge for ABSA L’Atelier (Gerard Sekoto award).