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Dr. Norman Vorano

I am an Associate Professor in Art History and a Queen’s National Scholar, with a cross appointment to the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, as Curator, Indigenous Art. In 2017, I was awarded the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Fellowship for my work linking museum, art collections, and Inuit communities. I received my PhD from the University of Rochester’s Program in Visual and Cultural Studies and my MA from York University, Toronto. I was the Curator of Contemporary Inuit Art at the Canadian Museum of History (formerly Canadian Museum of Civilization) from 2005 to 2014.  I am a past board member of the Native American Art Studies Association (NAASA), have served on the editorial board of the Inuit Art Quarterly, and am a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society.

My research and teaching are in the area of historic and contemporary Indigenous arts of North America as well as in curatorial/museum studies. I am particularly interested in Indigenous arts in “contact zones”;  community revitalization through arts and culture; art, politics, and the colonial encounter; and the ancient movements of visual culture through the dynamics of trade, travel and migration. My upper-year and graduate seminars have explored Indigenous modernism(s), Indigenous printmaking in a global context, Decolonizing the Museum, and I frequently teach introductory surveys of Indigenous arts of North America as well as specialized topics on North American Indigenous arts, particularly on arts of the Arctic.

Currently, I have several research initiatives on the go. I am working in the North Baffin Island region on a long-term research and exhibition project that focuses on modernity and documentary graphic arts. In addition to a traveling exhibition — Picturing Arctic Modernity: North Baffin Drawings from 1964 — one of the key outputs of this work is to use digital, networked technology to link communities with their cultural heritage in southern museums. I’m also a research partner in a comparative project that explores Indigenous modernisms from around the globe, Multiple Modernisms: Twentieth Century Artistic Modernisms in Global Perspective. A series of volumes are now forthcoming from this working group.