Eugenia Kisin is an anthropologist of art whose ethnographic and historical research focuses on the ways that things called “art” come to matter at a nexus of social action, extractive economies, and forms of governance. Through her work with artists and as an editorial adviser at the critical art quarterly C Magazine, Kisin is committed to scholarly and political engagement with the histories and futures of contemporary Indigenous art in North America. Much of her writing is on contemporary First Nations art in British Columbia, and on artists’s practices as unsettling forms of sovereignty amidst extractive projects, a phrasing that is meant to implicate art-based knowledge production as well as natural resource extraction. At Gallatin, her teaching and research interests include contemporary art and agency; critical Indigenous philosophies; curatorial practices; visual and sensory research methods; materiality and materialisms; and aesthetics of risk, endangerment, and refusal. As a teacher, she encourages students to think, act, write, and make in grounded and reflexive ways that encompass multiple intersections of aesthetics and politics.
Teaching and Research Interests
anthropology of art; materiality; contemporary art history and theory; ethnography of North America; Indigeneity; settler colonialism; art criticism; environmental and social movements; cultural property; curatorial practices; politics and aesthetics
B.A. Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, 2006 M.A. Anthropology, New York University, 2009 Ph.D. Anthropology, New York University, 2015
In July 2015, Eugenia Kisin was awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities at the University of Toronto’s Jackman Humanities Institute to contribute to the theme “Things That Matter.”
On February 26, 2016, Kisin gave a public talk called "Transitional Properties: Notes from the TRC Archive" at the interdisciplinary Technoscience Salon at Artscape Youngplace in Toronto, responding to their current theme of "Unsettling Practices."
Kisin contributed to the Winter 2016 "Citizenship" and Spring 2016 "Documentation" issues of C Magazine, as a member of the Editorial Advisory.
On January 14, 2016, Kisin moderated a public conversation on "Metals and Landscape" at the University of Toronto between multi-disciplinary artist Vanessa Dion Fletcher (Art Institute of Chicago) and curators Jean-Luc Pilon (Canadian Museum of Civilization) and Ruba Kana'an (Aga Khan Museum and York University). The conversation was part of a series of public talks called "Metals and Memory," organized by Pamela Klassen and Cara Krmpotich, and sponsored by Victoria College at the University of Toronto and the Jackman Humanities Institute Program for the Arts.