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Jessica L. Horton

Associate Professor (on leave Spring 2024)
Native American, Modern, and Contemporary Art
Ph.D. University of Rochester
University of Delaware
308 Old College
Newark, DE 19716
 

Biography

Professor Jessica L. Horton is a scholar of modern and contemporary Native North American art. Her research and teaching center Indigenous artists in a global story of modernity, following the transcultural movement of people, art, and ideas. Professor Horton has published widely on the relationships connecting Indigenous knowledge, creative practice, and theories of ecology, diplomacy, and globalization. She encourages hands-on collaboration in her classes, such as working with students and Indigenous communities to curate exhibitions of Native American art on campus.

Professor Horton's first book, Art for an Undivided Earth: The American Indian Movement Generation (2017) illuminates the impact of Indigenous struggles for land and life on artists working internationally since the 1970s. Her second book, Earth Diplomacy: Indigenous American Art, Ecological Crisis, and the Cold War (2024), examines how artists revitalized longstanding Indigenous cultures of diplomacy to place the earth at the center of our broken system of international relations. Professor Horton is currently working on a new project, Fire Oppression: Burning and Weaving in Indigenous California, in conversation with Native weavers and fire managers across the state of California.

Professor Horton's research has received support from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, the Getty Research Institute, the Clark Art Institute, the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum and Research Center, a Creative Capital Arts Writers Book Grant, two Wyeth Foundation Publication Grants, and more. She is a passionate member of the American Indian and Indigenous Relations Committee of the University of Delaware Antiracism Initiative. In her spare time, she is working on an earth-sheltered, solar-powered, fire-resistant house with her family in the coastal hills of northern California.​​

Selected Publications

Earth Diplomacy: Indigenous American Art, Ecological Crisis, and the Cold War (Duke University Press, Aug. 2024). 

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

“Reading Settler Archives Relationally," Archives of American Art Journal 63, no. 1 (Spring 2024): 76–83.

“Coiled Baskets, Spiraled Futures," The Brooklyn Rail, The Irving Sandler Essay, edited by Alexander Nagel (Dec./Jan. 2023/2024): 50–56.

and Christine Howard Sandoval, “'Genocide is Climate Change'": A Conversation about Colonized California and Indigenous Futures," World Art 13, no. 3, special issue, Art and Environmentalism, eds. Renato Rodrigues da Silva and Tami Bogéa (March 2023): 1–18.

“Rebalancing the Cold War: Diné Sandpainting and Earth Diplomacy," The Art Bulletin 104, no. 3 (Sept. 2022): 84–116.

“Seeing the National Museum of the American Indian Anew, as a Diplomatic Assemblage," American Art 36, no. 3, special issue “Seeing the Survey Anew: White Racial Formation in the History of American Art," ed. Kirsten Pai Buick (Fall 2022): 5–9.

“Fire Oppression: Burning and Weaving in Indigenous California," Humans, Terra Foundation Essays Vol. 5, eds. Laura Bieber, Joshua Shannon, and Jason Weems (Terra Foundation for American Art and University of Chicago Press, 2021), 66–87.

“Air, Wind, Breath, Life: Desertification and Will Wilson's AIR (Auto-Immune Response)," The Invention of the American Desert, eds. Lyle Massey and James Nisbet (University of California Press, 2021), 39–58.

and Rose B. Simpson, “Permaculture and Indigenous Futurism at Santa Clara Pueblo," Routledge Companion to Art, Visual Culture, and Climate Change, eds. Emily Eliza Scott, T.J. Demos, and Subhankar Banerjee (Routledge, 2021), 311–321.

"Ecolonial Holism," Panorama: Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art 5, no. 1 (Summer 2019), "Ecocriticism" Bully Pulpit, ed. Karl Kusserow, editions.lib.umn.edu/panorama/article/ecocriticism/ecolonial-holism/.

"Performing Paint, Claiming Space: The Santa Fe Indian School Posters on Paul Coze's Stage in Paris, 1935," Transatlantica: Revue d'études américaines 2 (2019), special issue, "Dialoguing the American West in France," eds. Emily Burns and Agathe Cabau, https://journals.openedition.org/transatlantica/11220.

"'All Our Relations' as an Eco-Art Historical Challenge: Lessons from Standing Bear's Muslin," in Ecologies, Agents, Terrains, eds. Christopher Heuer and Rebecca Zorach (Clark Art Institute and Yale University Press, 2018), 73–93.

"Indigenous Artists Against the Anthropocene," Art Journal 76, no. 2 (Summer 2017): 48–69. 

"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), 360–366.

"Ojibwa Tableaux Vivants: George Catlin, Robert Houle, and Transcultural Materialism," Art History 39, no. 1 (Feb. 2016): 124–151.

"A 'Cloudburst' in Venice: Fred Kabotie and the U.S. Pavilion of 1932," American Art, 29, no. 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.

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

(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.​

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Art for an Undivided Earth: The American Indian Movement Generationhttps://www.arthistory.udel.edu/Arth Bookshelf/horton-undivided-earth.jpgArt for an Undivided Earth: The American Indian Movement GenerationHorton, Jessica L.Duke University PressDurham2017https://www.dukeupress.edu/art-for-an-undivided-earth<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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