1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Decolonizing Art History

    626 Pages 97 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This companion is the first global, comprehensive text to explicate, theorize, and propose decolonial methodologies for art historians, museum professionals, artists, and other visual culture scholars, teachers, and practitioners.

    Art history as a discipline and its corollary institutions - the museum, the art market - are not only products of colonial legacies but active agents in the consolidation of empire and the construction of the West. The Routledge Companion to Decolonizing Art History joins the growing critical discourse around the decolonial through an assessment of how art history may be rethought and mobilized in the service of justice - racial, gender, social, environmental, restorative, and more. This book draws attention to the work of artists, art historians, and scholars in related fields who have been engaging with disrupting master narratives and forging new directions, often within a hostile academy or an indifferent art world. The volume unpacks the assumptions projected onto objects of art and visual culture and the discourse that contains them. It equally addresses the manifold complexities around representation as visual and discursive praxis through a range of epistemologies and metaphors originated outside or against the logic of modernity. This companion is organized into four thematic sections: Being and Doing, Learning and Listening, Sensing and Seeing, and Living and Loving.

    The book will be of interest to scholars working in art history, visual culture, museum studies, race and ethnic studies, cultural studies, disability studies, and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies.


    Tatiana Flores, Florencia San Martín, and Charlene Villaseñor Black

    Being and Doing

    1. Writing Art History in the Age of Black Lives Matter

    Eddie Chambers

    2. Being an Indigenous Art Historian in the Twenty-First Century: How Can Māori Adornment Reveal New Ways of Thinking about Art, Its Histories, and Futures

    Ngarino Ellis 

    3. Reinvention at the Wheel: Shaping New Histories in the Decolonization of Disability

    Amanda Cachia

    4. The Power of Absence: An Interview with Ken Gonzales-Day

    Tatiana Flores

    5. Art in Paradise Found and Lost

    LeGrace Benson

    6. The Maquette-Modèles of Bodys Isek Kingelez: Creole Visions of Decolonial Monuments

    Sandrine Colard

    7. Decolonizing La Revolución: Cuban Artistic Practice in a Liminal Space

    María de Lourdes Mariño Fernández

    8. Museums Are Temples of Whiteness

    Sumaya Kassim

    9. Stepping Out of the Shadow of Imperial Monochrony: A Place-Centric Approach to Decolonizing Japanese Art History

    Akiko Walley

    10. On Failure and the Nation-State: A Decolonial Reading of Alfredo Jaar’s A Logo for America

    Florencia San Martín

    11. Light as a Feather: The Anti-Capitalist Radiance of Decolonial Art History

    Wendy M. K. Shaw

    Learning and Listening

    12. Where’s Decolonization? The Ohketeau Cultural Center, Indigenous Sovereignty, and Arts Institutions

    Rhonda Anderson and Larry Spotted Crow Mann, with Jonathan P. Eburne, Stacy Klein, and Carlos Uriona

    13. Overcoming Art History’s Meta-Narrative

    Deborah Hutton

    14. Pathways to Art History: Pedagogy, Research, and Praxis through a Decolonial Lens

    Ananda Cohen-Aponte

    15. Pedagogies of Place: Listening and Learning in the Margins

    Keg de Souza

    16. The Unbearable Lightness of Adjuncting Art History

    Claire Raymond

    17. Decolonial Cinematic Flows: Histories, Movements, Confluences

    Dalida María Benfield

    18. Re-indigenizing Ancient Mexican Glyphic Codices

    Felicia Rhapsody Lopez

    19. (Not) Performing Pasifika Indigeneity: Destabilizing the Researcher as Decolonizing Method in Art History

    Amelia Jones 

    20. Afterlives/Futurelives: Imagining Mermaids and Recalling Ghost Dancing

    Roshini Kempadoo 

    21. Decolonizing California Mission Art and Architecture Studies

    Yve Chavez

    22. Radical Pedagogy:  Environmental Performances and the Politics of Hope

    Jane Chin Davidson

    Sensing and Seeing 

    23. Spooky Art History (or, Whatever Happened to the Postcolonial?)

    Kajri Jain

    24. Spatial Abstraction as a Colonizing Tool

    Fernando Luiz Lara

    25 Dishumanizing Art History?

    Carolyn Dean

    26. The Digital Voice as Postcolonial Proxy

    Pamela N. Corey

    27. Reflecting on Whiteness in Recent Contemporary Artwork Exploring Transnational Poland

    Alpesh Kantilal Patel

    28. Racialization, Creolization, and Minor Transnationalism: Black and Indigenous Exchange in Spanish Colonial Visual Culture

    Elena FitzPatrick Sifford

    29. The Imperial Landscape of Eighteenth-Century Anglo-Indian Portraiture

    Zirwat Chowdhury 

    30. Unseeing Art History: Inka Material Culture

    Andrew James Hamilton

    31. Debility and the Ethics of Proximity: Spatial and Temporal Immediacy in the Work of Candice Lin

    Hentyle Yapp

    32. Decolonizing Crocodiles, Repatriating Birds: Human-Animal Relations in the Indian Landscape

    Tamara Sears

    33. “We Are So Many Bodies, My Friends”: Countervisibility as Resurgent Tactics

    Sarita Echavez See

    Living and Loving 

    34. “She Carried with Her … A Large Bundle of Wearing Apparel Belonging to Herself”: Slave Dress as Resistance in Portraiture and Fugitive Slave Advertisements

    Charmaine A. Nelson 

    35. Rina Banerjee’s Decolonial Ecologies

    Rebecca M. Brown

    36. The Teaching Is in the Making: A Relational and Embodied Experience of Anishinaabe Photographs

    Celeste Pedri-Spade

    37. Reflections on a Latinx Decolonial Praxis for Medievalists

    Roland Betancourt

    38. The Waters Surrounding Wallmapu, the Waters Surrounding Life

    Seba Calfuqueo

    39. Dialogical Episodes for Decolonizing (Art) History

    Ana María Reyes

    40. Inner Spaces: The Depth Imagination

    Elizabeth DeLoughrey

    41. Maria Auxiliadora da Silva: Nossa Mãe Maria of Terreiro Life and Faith on Black Grounds

    Genevieve Hyacinthe

    42. Michael Richards: Performance as Ritual and Black-Indigenous Haptic Visuality

    Gigi Otálvaro-Hormillosa

    43. Bittersweet Histories and Tarnished Gold: Slavery’s Sounds, Sights, and Silences in the Legacy of Dutch Brazil

    Anuradha Gobin

    44.  A Personal Take, or Stuck in the Middle/Side and Going Nowhere: An Attempt at Imagining a Methodology for Engaging Colonial Photographic Archives, Histories, and Subjectivities

    George Mahashe


    45. Towards a Combative Decolonial Aesthetics

    Nelson Maldonado-Torres


    Tatiana Flores is Jefferson Scholars Foundation Edgar F. Shannon Professor of Art History at the University of Virginia.

    Florencia San Martín is an assistant professor of Art History in the Department of Art, Architecture and Design at Lehigh University.

    Charlene Villaseñor Black is chair of the César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o and Central American Studies and professor of Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles, editor of Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, and founding editor-in-chief of Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture.