Jackson Davidow

I am a PhD Candidate in the History, Theory, and Criticism of Art and Architecture program at MIT. I study art and visual culture of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries from a transnational perspective, with a focus on histories and theories of political activism, pedagogy, health, and globalization. Rather than concentrating on singular author figures, my research seeks to uncover complex narratives about networks of cultural production. I analyze the ways in which cultural programs, ideas, and identities emerge from, travel across, and negotiate various institutions, geographies, publics, and spaces, especially those that are sometimes thought to be beyond the realm of the aesthetic. A great deal of my work examines visual and spatial articulations of queerness in relation to constructs of the global and the postmodern. My scholarship foregrounds critical approaches to identity and representation, with regard to gender, sexuality, race, dis/ability, and post-coloniality. My work is also highly informed by debates on writing history from the vantage point of the global South.

I am currently at work on my dissertation, “Viral Visions: Art, Epidemiology, and Spatial Practices in the Global AIDS Pandemic.” This study is the first transnational history of artistic and activist responses to HIV/AIDS, with an emphasis on individuals, projects, and coalitions that conceived of the virus as a geopolitical and spatial problem.

My article, "Art Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and American Modernism," is included in the summer 2018 issue of American Art. Other publications include "Beyond the Binary: The Gender Neutral in JJ Levine's Queer Portraits" in Otherwise: Imagining Queer Feminist Art Histories, edited by Amelia Jones and Erin Silver (Manchester University Press, 2016), and a conceptual text called "Reading The Bostonians in Boston" in Thresholds 43 (2015).

I am currently a Junior Fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. I will also be the 2019 Howard Tanenbaum Fellow at the Ryerson Image Centre. Recently, I co-organized Future Genders, the Max Wasserman Forum on Contemporary Art at the MIT List Visual Arts Center. I have been the recipient of the Aga Khan Program Student Travel Grant, the Harold Horowitz (1951) Student Research Fund Award, the Vera List Prize for Writing on the Visual Arts, the Schlossman Research Fellowship, and the MIT-Africa Travel Grant. I hold degrees in Art History from McGill University and the University of Toronto.