Karen Greenwalt, PhD
Assistant Professor in Art History
Karen Greenwalt is an art historian whose research focuses on global contemporary art, with an emphasis on the contemporary art of Pakistan. At OSU, she teaches courses on modern and contemporary art history, as well as museum and exhibition studies.
Her current research project, Islamic Art in an Age of Global Conflict, engages with and problematizes contemporary framings of the Islamic. The project explores artists from the so-called Islamic world, whose work facilitates not only a deconstruction of the Islamic in art history, but also the ways Islam has been claimed and positioned by a variety of forces—from sensationalist portrayals in the global media, to reactionary politicians, and Islamic fundamentalists. Islamic Art in an Age of Global Conflict considers a group of artists who challenge the hegemony of a Eurocentric discourse and lay the foundation for an art history capable of engaging with the intertwined histories of a global art.
Greenwalt received her PhD at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2020 and taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago before joining the OSU faculty. While in Chicago, she also worked at the Art Institute of Chicago in the Departments of Contemporary Art and Photography. In 2017, she co-curated Traduttore, Traditore at Gallery 400, UIC. The exhibition used translation as a means of exploring the change—of language, customs, currency, and even memory—that occurs when people cross borders. Traduttore, Traditore proposed translation as a method to not only map moments of cross-cultural contact, but also as a way to understand contemporary artistic practices.