Lisa Uddin

AHVCS Department Chair, Associate Professor of Art History and Visual Culture Studies and Paul Garrett Fellow

PhD (Visual and Cultural Studies), University of Rochester, 2009
MA (Visual and Cultural Studies), University of Rochester, 2006
MA (Media Studies), Concordia University, Montréal, 2002
BA (North American Studies), McGill University, 1996

Areas of interest

Race and visual culture; modern and contemporary art and architecture; U.S. urbanism; black studies; feminist studies; animal studies; environmental humanities


  • Introduction to Art History and Visual Culture Studies
  • Mayhem, Machines, Manifestos: Modernism in Art and Architecture
  • The Social Life of Photography
  • Forms and Feels: Race and Visual Culture
  • Blues, Blood, Bruise: Blackness in Art
  • Senior Seminar in Art History


Prof. Uddin researches questions of race, space, and human/nonhuman entanglement in modern and contemporary art and visual culture. Her first book, Zoo Renewal: White Flight and the Animal Ghetto (University of Minnesota Press, 2015), locates the zoo's shift to wildlife conservation displays in the 1960s and 70s within struggles over urban decay, suburban growth, and postwar American whiteness. Her writing has also appeared in journals such as Postmodern Culture, Los Angeles Review of Books, parallax, Topia, Humanimalia, Public: Art/Culture/Ideas, and Afterimage. She has also been co-editor with Michael Boyce Gillespie of "Black One Shot", an art criticism series devoted to black visual and expressive culture on ASAP/J. Institutions that have supported Prof. Uddin's work include the Smithsonian Institution, Brown University's Pembroke Center, the University of Minnesota's Institute for Advanced Study, and the Getty Research Institute. Her current book project, tentatively titled Sunspots: Black Cosmologies of California Design, considers black expressive practices in formations of California architecture and urbanism since the 1960s. Disrupting familiar lineages of modernism and the politics of visibility, the project offers another history of Western space and space making oriented to the material-semiotics of the sunspot and the solarity of blackness