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Charlotte Townsend-Gault


Associate Professor

Department of Art History and Visual Art
University of British Columbia.

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General Interests

  • Approaches to contemporary First Nations art and material culture in
    North America in the interstitial zone between art history and social
  • Indigenous rights, their impact on the social relations of production
    and reception for Indigenous arts in North America, Australia and New
  • 20th century official and institutionally commissioned portraits, the
    ways in which the conventions around such portraiture persist and adapt
    in neo-colonial situations.

While visiting research fellow at University College London:

  • Completing 'Art Claims in the Age of Delgamuukw' for The Idea of
    Northwest Coast Native Art: A Critical Historiography. an anthology,
    with chapters by 28 contributors, co-edited with Ki-Ke-In and Jennifer
  • Completing manuscript Masked Relations: Display and Disguise on the
    Northwest Coast.
  • Is the Postcolonial Museum Possible? - in collaboration with Michael
  • Working with Ki-ke-in, Nuu-chah-nulth scholar and artist, and Jonathan
    King, Keeper of Ethnology, on the histories of Nuu-chah-nulth
    collections in the British Museum.

Recent publications:


'History Art: Nu.tka and Klatsassin', in Stan Douglas: Past
Imperfect, ed. Hans Christ. Ostfildern, Germany: HatjeCantz.

'Belmore and Luna' in Locations eds. Deborah Cherry and Fintan
Cullen. Blackwell: Oxford.


'Rebecca Belmore and James Luna on Location at Venice: The
Allegorical Indian Redux', Art History, 29:4.

'The Raven, the Eagle, the Sparrows and Thomas Crow: Native Modernism
on the Northwest Coast', in Native Modernism, Smithsonian
Institution, National Museum of the American Indian.

'Spectacular Disentanglement: A Talking Stick for the Pope' in Les
cultures a l'oeuvre: Rencontres en art / Art and Anthropology Current Perspectives, ed. Brigitte Derlon and Monique Jeudy-Ballini. Biro,
Editions de la Maison des sciences de l'homme, Paris.


'Visual Anthropology', 'Michael Snow', 'Alan Sekula' in
Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Photography, ed. Lynn Somers-Davis. New
York: Routledge.

'Ways of Knowing' and 'Power and Policy' in The Anthropology of
Art, eds. Howard Morphy and Morgan Perkins. Oxford: Blackwell.

'Working with Aboriginality' in First Nations of North America:
Politics and Representation, ed. Hans Bak. Amsterdam:VU University Press.


'Feeling Implicated' in The Challenges of Native American Studies:
Essays in Celebration of the Twenty-fifth American Indian Workshop,
eds. Barbara Saunders and Lea Zuyderhoudt. Leuven: Leuven University

'Introduction', and 'Struggles with Aboriginality/Modernity',
in Karen Duffek and Charlotte Townsend-Gault, eds., Bill Reid and
Beyond: Expanding on Modern Native Art, Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre.

'Have We Ever Been Good?' in Rebecca Belmore: The Named and the
Unnamed. Vancouver:, Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, 2003.

'Circulating Aboriginality'. Journal of Material Culture 9(2).

Currently supervising graduate students working on: First Nations
imagery on Canadian currency; museum performativity; Tsimshian photography;
Ellen Neel, Kwakwaka'wakw carver; Coast Salish basketry and memory;
politics of indigenous cultural exchange between Canada and Australia.