As an engaged art historian, my practice is dedicated to activating art history, visual studies, and their methods as tools for strengthening communities and creating a more reflective society.
I teach courses in art history and museum studies at Herron and at the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. My courses focus on topics such as public art, curatorial practice, museum history and theory, and urban visual culture. I also periodically teach a study abroad course about cultural memory through Herron’s summer program in Central Europe. If we’re not in the classroom during class time, it’s likely that my students and I are meeting at a nearby museum or walking around the city to learn directly from our local environment.
My research examines contemporary visual culture and place-based identity in the United States. My first book, Contested Image: Defining Philadelphia for the 21st Century, analyzes public discourse, historical art, and the struggle to shape Philadelphia’s reputation during an important moment of change in the city. It will be published by Temple University Press in spring 2019.
While my traditional scholarship examines events, questions, and debates that originate in communities outside of academia, my work as a public scholar intervenes in these matters more directly by leveraging art history and museums to facilitate democratic discourse about current issues. For these projects I collaborate with IUPUI students, professionals in the local arts and culture sector, and other members of Indianapolis’s communities. Together, we develop programs that blend art history with other matters that participants identify as relevant to their lives.