Faculty - Elizabeth Adan

Elizabeth Adan
Photograph © 2013 Elizabeth Adan, all rights reserved

Elizabeth Adan (she, her, hers) joined the Department of Art and Design in Fall 2007. She received an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Contemporary Art, Religion, and Cultural Analysis with a Doctoral Emphasis in Women's Studies from U.C. Santa Barbara in 2006. She also holds an MA in Rhetoric from U.C. Berkeley and an MFA in Studio Art from U.C. Santa Barbara, and in 2000-2001, she was a Critical Studies Fellow in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. Prior to her arrival at Cal Poly, she taught in the Women's Studies Program (now the Department of Feminist Studies) and the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at U.C. Santa Barbara, and she has also worked as a curator and freelance arts administrator.

In addition to her work in Art and Design at Cal Poly, Dr. Adan is affiliated faculty in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS), where she has been a member of the WGS Faculty Advisory Board (2010-14), has served as a WGS minor advisor (2010-14), and has been a member of the WGS Teaching Faculty (2014-present), for which she has served as a co-chair and chair of the WGS Curriculum Committee (chair, 2015; co-chair, 2015-16; chair, 2016-present). She was also Interim Chair in WGS in Winter and Spring 2018. Relatedly, Dr. Adan is a campus ally for undocumented students.

Dr. Adan’s research interests include modern and contemporary art, feminist and critical theories, and performance studies. Conference papers and publications indicative of her scholarly work include the following:

“Emergent Precarities and Lateral Aesthetics,” special focus section of the minnesota review 85 (Fall 2015, Duke University Press), co-edited with Benjamin Bateman, with a co-authored introduction.

“Re-mediation and/as Precarious Aesthetics in Ai Weiwei’s Trace (2014),” paper delivered at the Berkeley Conference on Precarious Aesthetics, Berkeley Center for New Media, U.C. Berkeley, 2015.

“Seeing Things,” essay published in Doris Salcedo (exhibition catalogue), ed. Julie Rodrigues Widholm and Madeleine Grynsztejn. Chicago and London: MCA and The University of Chicago, 2015.

“Between Looking and Not Looking: Race, Spectacular Scenes and Counter-Spectacular Effects in Paul Pfeiffer’s Long Count Series,” essay published in On Not Looking: The Paradox of Contemporary Visual Culture, ed. Frances Guerin. Routledge, 2015.

“Envisioning a US Chicana/o Feminist Art History: The Work of Yolanda M. López,” paper delivered at the “Imagining a US Latina/o Art History (II)” session, College Art Association Annual Conference, New York, NY, 2015.

“Feminist Art History and the Feminist Revolution: Revision, Recovery, and Inclusivity in “WACK!”,” paper delivered at the “Feminism Meets the Big Exhibition: 2005 Onwards” session, College Art Association Annual Conference, New York, NY, 2013.

“Between the Body and the Image in the Work of Francesca Woodman,” paper delivered at the Bodies of Art Conference, The Center for Body, Mind and Culture and the Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Florida Atlantic University, 2010.

“An ‘Imperative to Interrupt’: Radical Aesthetics, Global Contexts, and Site-Specificity in the Recent Work of Doris Salcedo,” essay published in Third Text 24: 5 (September 2010).

Currently, Dr. Adan is also co-authoring, with Karen Gocsik (Director of the Analytical Writing Program at U.C. San Diego), a writing manual for students in art and art history classes; tentatively titled Writing about Art, the project is under contract with Thames & Hudson.


Elizabeth Adan

Professor Art History
Phone: 805.756.1564
Office: 34 - 143

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