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Professor Ellen C. Caldwell

Ellen Caldwell

Professor of Art History

she/her/hers

AHIS 1: Understanding the Visual Arts
AHIS 3/3H:
History of Women and Gender in Art 

AHIS 9: History of Asian Art and Architecture
AHIS 11/11H:
History of African, Oceanic, and Native American Art

AHIS 13: World Art and Visual Culture


Building: 26D-2481-O
(909) 274-4330
ecaldwell1AT_mtsac.edu
https://www.mtsac.edu/art-history/


BA — Art History, Santa Clara University

  • minoring in Classics and Environmental Studies

MA — Art History, University of California, Santa Barbara


Faculty Association, 2017-2018 & 2019-present

Library Advisory Board, 2018-present

OER Taskforce & OER Faculty Mentor, 2019-2020

Racial Justice Taskforce, 2020-2021

Senate Representative, Fall 2019


Ellen Caldwell

Biography

I am an LA-born and -based art historian, writer, and educator. My background is in contemporary West African art and I teach and write about visual culture, the arts, identity, gender, and popular media for publications including JSTOR Daily, Art History Teaching Resources, Riot Material, New American Paintings, KCET's Artbound, and other online and academic journals. 

 

I recently contributed to the Bloomsbury Handbook to Octavia E. Butler (March 2020), co-authoring a chapter with California State University Sacramento colleague Dr. Christine Montgomery. Analyzing over 40 years of book covers for Butler's best selling novel Kindred, we combine our disciplines of art history and literature, forging new ground in the humanities by melding visual analysis, comparative literature, and speculative fiction to study Kindred as a wholefrom the outside, in. In 2020, I received a Mellon-ACLS Community College Faculty Fellowship to continue working on this research in the OEB archives at the Huntington Library.

 

Student Collaborations

In the fall of 2018, I began working with art history students on independent writing and researching projects. The following essays were authored or co-authored for Art History Teaching Resources by our Mt. SAC students:

My Teaching Philosophy

I teach and write about art because it has the power to help us all to see life and history through and in an entirely different perspective. As an educator and writer, I see myself as a translator, helping to share the often-unseen or hidden intentions, lessons, and cultural gems of the art with you, my students. 

In my class, you will also become a translator of art and history. You will see how art can give a voice to those who feel voiceless and you will see art history help to illustrate the ways in which artists, of the past and present, have found their voices, fought for change, for rights, and for social justice.

 

I believe in the power of art, art history, and of storytelling (historical and personal narratives) to change the way we see the past, the way we live in the present, and the way we actualize our future. I teach to pass on my passion for the arts and my access to education, both of which were cultivated in me by a family of educators and artists. I share my passion for art and art history in hopes that you can not only access a similar passion, but also fully realize your own potential in your educational journey as well.