• Faculty

  • Radhika Subramaniam

    Associate Professor of Visual Culture


    Office Location
    Parsons Faculty Hotseat

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    Radhika Subramaniam


    Radhika Subramaniam is a curator and writer with an interdisciplinary practice that deploys such platforms as exhibitions, texts and public art interventions as conscious forms of knowledge-making.  She is interested in the poetics and politics of crises and surprises, particularly urban crowds, cultures of catastrophe and human-animal relationships.  She was the first Director/Chief Curator of the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center (SJDC) at The New School from 2009-2017 and is also Associate Professor of Visual Culture in the School of Art and Design History and Theory at Parsons School of Design.  Previously Director of Cultural Programs at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, she was founding executive editor of an interdisciplinary journal, Connect: Art. Politics. Theory. Practice.  She is presently working on a book on a medieval elephant embassy and a series of essays on the footprint.

    Her curatorial practice is cross-disciplinary and dialogic, committed to public pedagogy, critical urbanism and political and social justice. Curatorial projects include Art in Odd Places: Number (2013) and Sign (2009, with Erin Donnelly), Abecedarium for Our Times (Apexart, 2008), and Cities, Art and Recovery (LMCC, 2005–2006), a major two-year international initiative focused on art and culture in the aftermath of catastrophe. At the SJDC, she has developed dialogic curatorial platforms such as Living Concrete/Carrot City (2010, with Nevin Cohen), #searchunderoccupy (2012, collaboratively curated), Art Environment Action! (2012), Masterpieces of Everyday New York: Objects as Story (2013, with Margot Bouman) and Offense and Dissent: Image, Conflict, Belonging (2014, with Julia Foulkes and Mark Larrimore).

    Degrees Held

    PhD. Performance Studies

    MS Anthropology

    Recent Publications

    Footprint: An Itinerary.  Borderlands journal, Vol. 21, Issue 1, 2022. Special issue on Intersecting Mobilities edited by Miriam Ticktin and Rafi Youatt.

    Donkeywork: A Eulogy.  Entry for Animal Laborans.  2020. In Designing in Dark Times: An Arendtian Lexicon.  Edited by Eduardo Staszowski and Virginia Tassinari.  London: Bloomsbury.

    Seeing Sight Unseen.  Book review of Thirty Times a Minute by Colleen Plumb.  Minding Nature, Fall 2020, Vol. 13, No. 3.

    Searching Blindly:  Alfredo Jaar’s Searching for Africa in LIFE.  2019 In I Stand in My Place With My Own Day Here: Site-Specific Works from The New School. Edited by Frances Richard.  New York: The New School.

    The Elephant’s I: Looking for Abu’l Abbas. 2018 In Animal Biography: Re-framing Animal Lives.  Edited by André Krebber and Mieke Roscher.  London: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Round Trips: NY-BOM-NY.  In Dancing Platform Praying Grounds: Blackness, Churches, and Downtown Dance (Danspace Project Platform 2018 catalogue), March 2018.

    Mark Making on the Border.  In Images Unwalled.  Photography-text essay by the Multiple Mobilities Research Cluster (Miriam Ticktin, Radhika Subramaniam, Victoria Hattam, Laura Y. Liu and Rafi Youatt).  Anthropology Now Vol. 9, No. 3.

    Flyways (Star 82 Review, Issue 5.2, June 2017)

    Loose Connections (in Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency and Cultural Production, edited by Kareem Estefan, Carin Kuoni and Laura Raicovich, OR Books, 2017), Reprinted in The Believer Logger June 13, 2017

    Not as the Crow Flies (La.lit Vol. 7, Green Issue, Kathmandu, 2016),

    Small Acts, Forlorn Practices (in Activating Democracy, edited by Sheryl Oring, Intellect, 2016)

    In Search of the Indian Cow (in History According to Cattle, edited by Laura Gustafsson and Terike Haapoja, Punctum Books, 2015)

    What are we after what are we? Guatemala Después exhibition catalogue. Quetzaltenango, Guatemala: Ciudad de la Imaginación.

    Wild Tales, Cosmic Waters.  Catalogue entry for Vibha Galhotra’s Absur-city-pity-dity exhibition brochure, New York: Jack Shainman Gallery. (2015)

    Developing Neighbors.  (In Entry Points. The Vera List Field Guide on Art and Social Justice, No. 1. Edited by Carin Kuoni. New York: Vera List Center for Art and Politics in association with Duke University Press, 2015)

    Introduction to Artist Feature on Art Environment Action!, in Engage, WSQ (Women’s Studies Quarterly) Vol. 41, Nos. 3-4, Fall-Winter 2013

    (with Nevin Cohen)  Living Concrete/Carrot City: An exhibition platform as a growing medium.  Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development.  Published on-line 11 June 2012  http://dx.doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2012.023.012

    Research Interests

    visual culture studies, human-animal relationships, mobility/borders, curatorial practice, urban studies

    Member, Multiple Mobilities Research Group: https://www.multiplemobilities.org/

    Awards And Honors

    Graduate Institute for Design, Ethnography and Social Thought Faculty Fellowship, The New School, 2018-2019

    Mellon Sawyer Seminar in Imaginative Mobilities Faculty Fellowship, Zolberg Institute for Migration and Mobility, 2018-2019

    Culture and Animals Foundation Research Grant, 2018

    Writing Residency, Hambidge Center, March 2018

    International Visiting Curator, Artspace/UNSW Art and Design, Sydney, Australia, May 2017

    Artist in Residence, Visual Arts (BAIR) Winter program, The Banff Centre, Canada, March 2014

    SEED Fund Teaching Fellowship in Urban Studies, San Francisco Art Institute, Spring 2012International Visiting Curator, Artspace/UNSW Art and Design, Sydney, Australia, May 2017


    Parsons Cross-School Funds (2014-2015) for Cambodia – United States – France: Intersecting Curatorial and Ethnographic Practices (with Jaskiran Dhillon and Miriam Ticktin)
    Zolberg Center on Global Migration, The New School, Multiple Mobilities Research Cluster (with Victoria Hattam and Miriam Ticktin), 2014, 2015, 2016 (with Hattam, Ticktin, Laura Liu, Rafi Youatt and Abou Farman), 2017
    Office of the Provost Innovations in Education Fund, 2014-2015, Cambodia – United States – France: Intersecting Curatorial and Ethnographic Practices (with Jaskiran Dhillon and Miriam Ticktin)
    The New School Student Research Assistant Award, 2014-2015
    Parsons School-Based Funds for Cambodia Curatorial Workshop, Spring 2013
    Parsons Cross-School Based Fund for Emerging Asian Cities colloquium, Fall 2012 (with Aseem Inam)
    The New School Green Fund, 2012 for Sustainable Lighting (with Derek Porter)
    Office of the Provost Innovations in Education Fund, 2012-2013, Living Arts City (with Jonathan Bach, Adam Brent, Jaskiran Dhillon, Victoria Marshall and Brian McGrath)
    Office of the Provost Academic Events Fund Award 2011-2012
    The New School Green Fund, 2011 for the exhibition U-n-f-o-l-d: Art and Climate Change
    Office of the Provost Academic Events Fund Awards 2010-2011 (with Nevin Cohen)
    The New School Green Fund, 2010 for the exhibition Living Concrete/Carrot City

    Future Courses

    Curating Public Memory
    PGHT 5741, Fall 2023

    Metaphor and Material
    PLVS 4015, Fall 2023

    Past Courses

    Animality and Visuality
    PLVS 3025, Fall 2022

    Curating in the Public Domain
    PGHT 5005, Fall 2022

    Poetic Political Imaginaries
    GPOL 6291, Spring 2023

    Transdisciplinary Seminar 2
    PGTD 5010, Spring 2023

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