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Jessica L. Horton
Assistant Professor and Director of the CTPhD Program
Native American, Modern, and Contemporary Art
Ph.D. University of Rochester
University of Delaware
308 Old College
Newark, DE 19716


Professor Jessica L. Horton is a scholar of modern and contemporary art, specializing in Native American politics, globalization, and environmental justice. Her courses span global contemporary, American, and indigenous topics, with a focus on the transnational and transcultural movement of people, objects, and ideas. She was awarded a Wyeth Foundation for American Art publication grant for her book, Art for an Undivided Earth: The American Indian Movement Generation (Duke University Press, June 2017). Her current research includes studies of the unsettling role of Native American objects in U.S. arts diplomacy abroad during the Cold War, collaborations between French and American Indian artists and performers in the 1930s, and the intersection of indigenous knowledge, ecocriticism, and contemporary art. She is an affiliate of the Delaware Environmental Institute and the Center for Material Culture Studies.

Professor Horton earned a M.A. and Ph.D. in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester and a B.A. in Art History and Political Science at the University of California, San Diego. Her research has been supported by a National Endowment for the Humanities/Getty Research Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship, a Smithsonian American Art Museum/National Museum of the American Indian Postdoctoral Fellowship, a Wyeth Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, a Social Science Research Council International Dissertation Research Fellowship, and a Terra Foundation for American Art Summer Residency in Giverny, among other awards.

Selected Publications

Art for an Undivided Earth: The American Indian Movement (Duke University Press, June 2017).

"Indigenous Artists Against the Anthropocene," Art Journal 76:2 (Summer 2017).

"Plural Diplomacies Between Indian Termination and the Cold War: Contemporary American Indian Paintings in the 'Near East', 1964–1966," Journal of Curatorial Studies, special issue, The Art of Cultural Diplomacy (Spring 2017).

"Jimmie Durham's Stones and Bones," in Jimmie Durham: At the Center of the World, ed. Anne Ellegood (The Hammer Museum & DelMonico Books/Prestel, 2017): 78-85.

"Ojibwa Tableaux Vivants: George Catlin, Robert Houle, and Transcultural Materialism," Art History 39:1 (Feb. 2016): 124-151.

"A 'Cloudburst' in Venice: Fred Kabotie and the U.S. Pavilion of 1932," American Art, 29:1 (March 2015): 54–81.

"Art History's Tangled Legs," in Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist, ed. Kathleen Ash-Milby (Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian, 2015), 145-148.

"Painter/Traveler/Diplomat," in Fritz Scholder: Super Indian, 1967–1980, John Lukavic, Jessica Horton, and Eric Berkemeyer (Denver Art Museum & Prestel, 2015), 41–53.

(and Janet Catherine Berlo), "Pueblo Painting in 1932: Folding Narratives of Native Art into American Art History," in The Companion to American Art History, eds. Jennifer Greenhill, John Davis, and Jason LaFountain (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015), 264-280.

(and Cherise Smith), "The Particulars of Postidentity," eds. Jessica L. Horton and Cherise Smith, American Art, 28:1 (Spring 2014): 2–8.

"Study it Lightly," Parkett No. 92: Jimmie Durham, Helen Marten, Pauline Olawska, Damián Ortega (June 2013): 48–58.

(and Janet Berlo), "Beyond the Mirror: Indigenous Ecologies and 'New Materialisms' in Contemporary Art," Third Text, special issue, Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology, ed. T. J. Demos, 27:1 (January 2013): 17–28.

"Of Mimicry and Drag: Homi Bhabha and Kent Monkman," in Theorizing Visual Studies: Writing Through the Discipline (Routledge, 2013), 169–191.

"Alone on the Snow, Alone on the Beach: 'A Global Sense of Place' in Atanarjuat and Fountain," Journal for Transnational American Studies, special forum, Charting Transnational Native American Studies, eds. Philip J. Deloria, et al., 4:1 (June 2012): 1–25.

"A Shore Without a Horizon: Locating as Looking Anew," Shapeshifting: Transformations in Native American Art (Peabody Essex Museum & Yale University Press, 2012), 50–63.

"Textured Stories: Three California Baskets," American Indian Art from the Thaw Collection (Fenimore Art Museum, 2010), 102–109.



Art for an Undivided Earth: The American Indian Movement GenerationHorton, Jessica L.Duke University PressDurham2017<p>In <em>Art for an Undivided Earth</em> Jessica L. Horton reveals how the spatial philosophies underlying the American Indian Movement (AIM) were refigured by a generation of artists searching for new places to stand. Upending the assumption that Jimmie Durham, James Luna, Kay WalkingStick, Robert Houle, and others were primarily concerned with identity politics, she joins them in remapping the coordinates of a widely shared yet deeply contested modernity that is defined in great part by the colonization of the Americas. She follows their installations, performances, and paintings across the ocean and back in time, as they retrace the paths of Native diplomats, scholars, performers, and objects in Europe after 1492. Along the way, Horton intervenes in a range of theories about global modernisms, Native American sovereignty, racial difference, archival logic, artistic itinerancy, and new materialisms. Writing in creative dialogue with contemporary artists, she builds a picture of a spatially, temporally, and materially interconnected world—an undivided earth.<br></p>

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  • Department of Art History
  • University of Delaware
  • 318 Old College
  • Newark, DE 19716 USA
  • Phone: 302-831-8415