Art historian, art critic and curator Salah M. Hassan is the Goldwin Smith Professor of African and African Diaspora Art History and Visual Culture in the Africana Studies and Research Center and the Department of the History of Art and Visual Studies, Cornell University. He is also Director of the Institute for Comparative Modernities (ICM) at Cornell University.

He is an editor and founder of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art (Duke University Press) and served as consulting editor for African Arts. He also serves as a member of the editorial advisory board of Atlantica and the Journal of Curatorial Studies.

Hassan has authored, edited and co-edited a number of books and journals, including Ibrahim El Salahi: A Visionary Modernist (Museum for African Art and Tate Modern, 2012, 2013); African Modernism, special issue of South Atlantic Quarterly (Duke Press, 2010); Darfur and the Crisis of Governance: A Critical Reader (Cornell University Press, 2009); Diaspora, Memory, Place, (Prestel, 2008); Unpacking Europe, (NAi Publishers, 2001); Authentic/Ex-Centric (Forum for African Arts, 2001); Gendered Visions: The Art of Contemporary Africana Women Artists (Africa World Press, 1997) and Art and Islamic Literacy among the Hausa of Northern Nigeria (E. Mellon Press, 1992).

He has also curated or co-curated international exhibitions such as The Khartoum School: The Making of the Modern Art Movement in Sudan (1945-Present); When Art Becomes Liberty: The Egyptian Surrealists (1938–1965) organised by Sharjah Art Foundation, presented at the Palace of Arts, Cairo (2016) and Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Korea (2017); 3x3: Three Artists/Three Projects: David Hammons, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Pamela Z, Dak'Art, Dakar (2004) and Authentic/Ex-Centric, 49th Venice Biennale (2001), among others. He was also a keynote speaker for Sharjah Art Foundation March Meeting 2012.

He is the recipient of grants from Sharjah Art Foundation, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Andy Warhol Foundation, Afrique en Creations, Prince Claus Fund as well as a J. Paul Getty Postdoctoral Fellowship.
Hassan received his BA (honours) from the University of Khartoum (1978) and an MA and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania (1984 and 1988, respectively).