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Welcome Dr. Kristin Dowell!

Published August 14, 2018

Kristin DowellThe Department of Art History is pleased to welcome Dr. Kristin Dowell as Associate Professor of Contemporary Native American Art, Film, and Visual Culture this fall. Dr. Dowell joins us from the Florida State University Department of Anthropology, where she has been an associate professor for the past three years. She specializes in the art of Native North America with an emphasis on Indigenous cinema and contemporary visual culture.

Professor Dowell received her PhD in Anthropology from New York University in 2006. Prior to joining FSU, she was on the faculty at Western Kentucky University and at the University of Oklahoma. Since 2002 she has engaged in collaborative community-based research with Indigenous filmmakers and artists in Vancouver. Her book, Sovereign Screens: Aboriginal Media on the Canadian West Coast (2013), is the first ethnographic monograph of Indigenous media in British Columbia. She has worked with  museums and Native film festivals across North America, including the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. She was a co-founder and co-organizer of the Native Crossroads Film Festival and Symposium at the University of Oklahoma, where she also served as a film curator for three years.

Production image from Biidaaban (The Dawn Comes), Dir. Amanda Strong

Professor Dowell is currently working on a book titled Digital Sutures: Family and Cultural Memory in Indigenous Women’s Films in Canada, which explores how Indigenous women redefine film genres through the innovative ways in which they render their stories, ancestral knowledge, and familial relationships on-screen. She has just returned from Vancouver, where she conducted studio visits, interviews, and examined archives in artist-run centers, including grunt gallery and VIVO Media Arts Centre. She also had the opportunity to attend the landmark Haida Now exhibition at the Museum of Vancouver and Culture at the Centre and In a Different Light at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC.

Professor Dowell has published articles in American Anthropologist, Anthropologica, Cultural Anthropology, and Studies in American Indian Literatures, and a chapter in the anthology Native Art of the Northwest Coast: A History of Changing Ideas (winner of the 2015 Canada Prize in the Humanities). She directs the Visual Culture Media Lab at FSU, an interactive technology space allowing students the opportunity to learn media production skills through the creation of their own digital projects documenting cultural heritage and visual culture. Examples of videos produced by students through the Visual Culture Media Lab can be viewed here.

In the fall, she will be teaching a graduate seminar on Contemporary Native American Art and the undergraduate Museum Object course (see Graduate Seminars for Fall 2018 and Undergraduate Seminars for Fall 2018).