ARUNA D’SOUZA is an art historian and critic whose work spans European modernism from later-19th century to contemporary art, with a particular focus on feminist theory, issues of globalism and globalization, and questions of the museum and archive. After having received her PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts at NYU in 1999, she has gone on to hold academic positions at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, SUNY Purchase (where she codirected the MA Program for Art History, Theory, and Criticism with George Baker), SUNY Binghamton, University of California Berkeley, and Williams College. She has also held museum positions at the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art (New York), and was Associate Director of the Research and Academic Program at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute until December 2011.
Aruna’s research has led to books and articles on such topics as Jean Dubuffet’s self-promotion and public presence in the New York art world of the 1950s, the figure of theflâneuse (the female stroller) and questions of gender, mobility, and urban life in the cultural imagination of 19th century Paris, Impressionism and the female subject, anarchism and art in fin-de-siècle France, contemporary painting and the question of feminist form, and the problem of how to find space for feminist art within the institutional framework of the museum. Her art criticism has appeared in Art in America, Time Out New York, Bookforum, and Art Margins. She is the author or editor of books such as Cézanne’s Bathers: Biography and the Erotics of Paint (2008), The Invisible Flâneuse (2005), and Self and History (2001), and has contributed essays to exhibition catalogues such as Witness to Her Art (Bard CCS, 2006), Modern Women (MoMA, 2010), and others. Her current book projects are on intimacy and urban life in late 19th century France, and on the reimagining of “the global” in contemporary art discourse.