Dr. Olivia Young to join CAAAS and Department of Art History in Fall 2021

May 28, 2020

Olivia Young

In the fall of 2021, Olivia Kathleen Young, Ph.D. will join the Department of Art History and the Center for African and African American Studies (CAAAS) as an Assistant Professor of African Diasporic Art. Starting in the fall of this year, she will be a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of African American Studies at UCLA. This prestigious postdoctoral fellowship program encourages outstanding women and minority Ph.D. recipients to pursue academic careers.

Dr. Young is a graduate of the Department of African Diaspora Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She recently filed her dissertation entitled “How the Black Body Bends: Sensorial Distortions of Black Contemporary Art." Her dissertation foregrounds notions of distortion within the work of black female artists from the onset of feminist art movements of the 1960s. Her research takes seriously the interplay of visual registers with other sensory modalities and the role of performance in staging and re-staging social reality.

She was recently a Patricia and Phillip Frost Predoctoral Fellow at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and in 2019, Dr. Young was nominated and selected into the inaugural Scholar-in-Residence Program at the Rauschenberg Residency on Captiva Island.

Her published writings include an article on Senam Okudzeto in Women and Performance: a journal of feminist theory, art writings on Tschabalala Self for the 2017-2018 exhibition catalogue Trigger: Gender As a Tool and a Weapon at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, and Sam Vernon for the 2018 exhibition Rage Wave at G44: Centre for Contemporary Photography in Toronto, Canada.

Prior to receivng her Ph.D., Dr. Young earned her Bachelor of Arts in African American Studies and Sociology from Emory University.

For a closer look at Dr. Young’s research and projects, please visit https://www.oliviakyoung.com/.


Photo courtesy of Josie Johnson.