Maurita Poole is a cultural anthropologist and curator specialized in race and identity formation in North African Islamic contexts, visual cultures of the African Diaspora, and image-based ethnography. Her dissertation research, “ ‘Brown Skin is Half of Beauty’: Representations of Beauty and the Construction of Race in Contemporary Cairo” focuses on racialized beauty and the color-caste aesthetic in Mubarak-era Egypt.
As the Mellon Curatorial Fellow for Diversity in the Arts at Williams College Museum of Art, she has curated "Myra Greene: Selections from My White Friends" and "Zanele Muholi". She is currently working on a book-length manuscript about contemporary Nubian aesthetics and curating the exhibition "Fathi Hassan: Migration of Signs," which highlights the most recent paintings and drawings by contemporary Nubian mixed media artist Fathi Hassan.
Before arriving at Williams College, she taught courses at Spelman College, Dillard University, and Emory University. The courses included Introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology; Introduction to Feminist Theories; Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Gender and Sexuality; African Diaspora and the World; and “Will to Adorn”: African American Dress and the Aesthetics of Identity.
Her research has been generously supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, American Research Center in Egypt, and the Ford Foundation.