Dr. Jordan A. Fenton received a BA and MA from Kent State University before earning a PhD in art history from the University of Florida in 2012. Dr. Fenton's dissertation, “Take it to the Streets: Performing Ekpe/Mgbe Power in Contemporary Calabar, Nigeria,” was recently nominated for the prestigious Arts Council of the African Studies 2014 Roy Sieber Dissertation Award. His 15 months of fieldwork and research investigation into masquerade culture in Calabar, capital of Cross River State, Nigeria, was supported and conducted as a Fulbright-Hays scholar (2009-2010), Foreign Language Area Studies fellow (2008 and 2009), and as a Smithsonian fellow in residence at the National Museum of Africa Art (2011).
Dr. Fenton regularly presents his work at professional conferences including, but not limited to, Midwest Art History Society, African Studies Association, and the Triennial Symposium on African Art. Most recently, he was one of four invited presenters for the African Art Symposium at Appalachian StateUniversity in 2013. He actively publishes in peer-reviewed journals, edited volumes, exhibition catalogues, and collection tomes. He is currently working towards a monograph tentatively entitled Performing City: the Spatial and Economic Politics of Masquerade in West Africa and an edited volume exploring African art and urban space.
At Kendall, Dr. Fenton is the global art history specialist, offering introductions into Western art, non-Western art, and a survey of the arts of Africa as well as upper-level courses and seminars specifically targeting Africa, Asia, and Oceania as well as comparatively investigating global arts through themes and genres such as power, life-cycle rituals, colonialism, the post-colony, masquerade, performance, dress, textiles and esoteric knowledge.