Photograph of Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson

Associate Professor and Chair, Art History
Phone: 607-274-3281
Office: Gannett Center G116, Ithaca, NY 14850
Speciality: Contemporary Art and Museum Studies

Education

  • Ph.D. Art History, University of Minnesota, 2009
  • M.A. Art History, University of Minnesota, 2003
  • B.A. Art History, Whitman College, 2001

Teaching

I teach contemporary art and museum studies from a global perspective. Students can expect to study art being made in South Africa alongside art movements centered in the United States, museums in India along with ones in Europe. Together with essays and research papers, I also assign projects that ask students to learn by doing. These might include proposing a public artwork for Ithaca, re-performing a work of performance art, or designing an engagement activity for Ithaca College’s Handwerker Gallery.

Selected Courses:

  • ICSM 10500 Global Pop Art
  • ARTH 13500 Introduction to Visual Culture
  • ARTH 28500 Art Since 1960
  • ARTH 28600 Art and Globalization
  • ARTH 29200 Introduction to Museum Studies
  • ARTH 35000 Contemporary Art from Africa and its Diaspora
  • ARTH 39500 Performance, Institutional Critique, and the Museum

Students doing something

Students in ARTH 39500 re-performing Time of Action (1978) by the Soviet artist group Collective Actions.

Research

Going to see artworks and exhibitions in person and interview artists and curators where they live and work forms the basis of my research on how artworks rework the past and imagine possible futures.

Early research took me to Finland, Estonia, Russia, Italy, and Germany, while a 2018 Fulbright Lecturer/Researcher fellowship took me to Namibia for a year and allowed me to travel to South Africa and Senegal as well.

My current writing projects deal with how the Herero-Nama Genocide is represented in contemporary Namibian art, the art of Tuli Mekondjo, and the stereotype of the "white savior" in artworks by Vibeke Tandberg, Elina Saloranta, and Vanessa Beecroft.

Recent research articles include:

  • "The Afronaut and Retrofuturism in Africa" in ASAP/Journal (2019)
  • "Repetition without Reproduction: Esko Männikkö’s The Female Pike" in Photography & Culture (2016)
  • "Monumental Indifference in Tallinn" in Public Art Dialogue (2015).

Recent shorter pieces include:

  • An exhibition review in African Arts (2019)
  • An exhibition essay for When the Wind Comes Right Behind the Rain (2019)

These and other publications can be accessed on my Academia.edu page.