Portrait of Lisa Uddin

Associate Professor of Art History, Paul Garett Fellow


Professor Uddin teaches and writes on the visual and spatial life of race, the politics and possibilities of aesthetics, and urban and environmental imaginaries. She came to Whitman in 2012 after teaching at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington D.C. and doing postdoctoral research at the University of Minnesota and Brown University. She grew up in a Swedish and Bengali white-collar immigrant family in suburban Toronto, and with artists, architects and community radio broadcasters in urban Montreal.


Ph.D. Visual and Cultural Studies
University of Rochester

M.A. Visual and Cultural Studies
University of Rochester

M.A. Media Studies
Concordia University-Montréal

B.A. North American Studies
McGill University

Courses Taught by Professor Uddin

  • Photographing Difference
  • Architectures of Race
  • Critical Art History
  • Mayhem, Machines, Manifestos: Modernism in Art and Architecture
  • Blackness and the Arts
  • Indigenous Aesthetics: Native North American Art and Visual Culture
  • Senior Seminar in Art History

Professor Uddin is the author Zoo Renewal: White Flight and the Animal Ghetto (University of Minnesota Press, 2015), and other writings on race, animality, and urbanism. Currently, she co-edits Black One Shot, an online art criticism series devoted to blackness and the arts. She also researches design histories of blackness in California since the 1960s and collaborates on regional arts and visual culture projects. 

“The Fugitivity of Black Panther Oakland,” in Design Radicals: Spaces of Bay Area Counterculture, eds. Greg Castillo and Lee Stickells (forthcoming with University of Minnesota Press).

Black One Shot, eds. Lisa Uddin and Michael Boyce Gillespie, ASAP/JJune-September, 2020, June-September 2018.

“And Thus Not Glowing Brightly: Noah Purifoy’s Junk Modernism,” in Race and Modern Architecture, eds. Mabel O. Wilson, Irene Cheng, Charles Davis. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020.

" Radical Shit: Countercultural Autonomy and Composting Toilet Design,"  ASAP/J, February 13, 2020. 

" Thumper’s Descent,"  ASAP/J, August 13, 2018.

" The Matter of Black Life," Los Angeles Review of Books, January 7, 2016.  

Zoo Renewal: White Flight and the Animal GhettoUniversity of Minnesota Press, 2015.

2019, Louis B. Perry Faculty-Student Summer Research Scholarship, Whitman College 

2018, Paul Garrett Fellowship for excellence in research, teaching and service, Whitman College 

2017, Getty Library Research Grant, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA 

2017, Sally Ann Abshire award for faculty-student research, Whitman College

2012, Corcoran College of Art and Design Faculty Development Research Grant 

2009, Quadrant Fellowship in Environment, Culture and Sustainability, University of Minnesota, MN 

2008-09, Pembroke Postdoctoral Fellowship, Brown University, Providence RI 

2007, Smithsonian Predoctoral Fellowship, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington DC 

2007, Douglas Dockery Thomas Fellowship in Garden History and Design, Garden Club of America and Landscape Architecture Foundation

2004, Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender & Women’s Studies, Graduate Research Grant 

2004, University of Rochester, Celeste Hughes Bishop Award for academic accomplishments, teaching achievements, and general contributions 

2002-06, Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Doctoral Fellowship 

2002-04, Fonds de recherche sur la société et la culture, Québec, Doctoral Fellowship