I specialize in modern and contemporary art of the Americas, with a focus on ephemeral and transitory materials such as paper, prints, packaging, and food. Using queer and feminist frameworks, my work examines marginal objects and spaces as drivers of social change.

I am currently at work on two book-length projects. The first, “Out of Paper: Drawing, Environment, and the Body in 1960s America,” examines the shifting position of drawing in American studio practice in the long 1960s. By investigating artists’ engagements with the paper surface– a dynamic matrix that could create entanglements between body and image– I show how American artists manipulated this “minor” and historically intimate art form during a period marked by increasing concerns with surveillance, communication, and consumer culture. The second project investigates the use of food as material in Latin American performance art of the 1970s. Other interests include performance studies, materiality, transnational feminisms, and histories and theories of artistic canons.

I work as an Assistant Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Before coming to UNL, I was an assistant professor at Georgia College, the public liberal arts college of the state university system of Georgia. Prior to this appointment, I was a Wallace Fellow at Villa I Tatti, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in Florence, Italy, and I taught at the San Francisco Art Institute, the California College of the Arts, Hunter College, and Parsons School of Design.



December 2021

I’ll give a short talk this December on queer performance artist Stephen Varble at the Art Association of Australia and New Zealand (AANZ) conference at the University of Sydney. The paper is on Varble’s use of paper in his trash-driven performance work and his friendships with Renaissance art historians – it’s part of a series of three panels on uses of the Renaissance in modern and contemporary art.


August 2021

I curated a show, The Nature of Waste: Material Pathways, Discarded Worlds, about waste, trash, and materiality at the Sheldon Museum of Art at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The show was drawn from some of my conversations with students in my Spring 2021 graduate seminar, “Hot Messes and Trash Fires: Theories of Waste in Contemporary Art and Design.” The show will be up until December 31, 2021.

June 2021

For Pride Month, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, launched the Pegues & Capoccia Conversation Series in LGBTQ+ Portraiture. I was invited me to give the first talk in the series, on hunger in 1970s lesbian zines and poetry. Watch it here.

March 2021

The E. N. Thompson Forum on World Issues hosted a panel, “Picturing Disaster: Visualizing Climate Emergency and the Natural World,” for which I was one of the speakers – along with polar explorer Ann Bancroft and my UNL colleagues Jessica Corman (water science) and Stacy Asher (design).

February 2021

I co-moderated the Society of Contemporary Art Historians (SCAH) panel, “Agitators and Aggregators: New Cycles of Contemporary Art History,” at the College Art Association with fellow SCAH officer Megan Driscoll of the University of Richmond. The panelists included Jaqueline Francis, Andy Campbell, Rose Salseda, and Johanna Gosse.

October 2020

I moderated the panel, “Whose Renaissance? Re-Imagining the Early Modern World in the Age of White Supremacy.” The panel addressed white supremacist frameworks, both inside and outside the academy, that credit western Europe with virtually all modern innovations – the talks spanned from the Vikings to the Spanish Caribbean, and from the 9th century to Twitter wars of the present day.

My article, “Quick Studies: A Queer History of The Natural Way to Draw,” came out in the Fall 2020 issue of the Archives of American Art Journal.

March 2020

I was one of the panelists for the closing colloquium for STREAMING, an exhibition curated by DELUGE and Robert Twomey at gallery@calit2, University of California, San Diego. The discussion ranged from eco-streaming to drawings as a form of streaming media.

I also published a short essay on walking and robots, “How to Draw a Dog,” for Jessamine Batario’s Critics Page in The Brooklyn Rail.

February 2020

I moderated a panel, “Marking Time,” organized by Susan Richmond and Elyse Speaks, at the College Art Association Annual Conference in Chicago on February 13. The panel centered on feminist artists who used time as a central component of their work.

August 2019

My article on William Anastasi’s subway drawings, “Walk With Me: William Anastasi’s Stenography of the Street,” was published in a special issue of Panorama on American art and amateurism. 

May 2019

In May 2019, I was a research fellow at the Stiftung Arp in Berlin, Germany, an archive housing the work and personal papers of the sculptor Jean Arp. I used the archive to research the reception of Arp’s relief sculptures and works on paper in the US in the 1960s and ’70s.

March 2019

On Saturday, March 30, I gave a talk at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts in Montgomery, AL. The talk, “Interacting with Interaction: Donald Judd, Josef Albers, and Reading Against the Grain,” discussed Donald Judd’s writings on Josef Albers’ prints and books in the 1960s. More on that here.

February 2019

At the College Art Association Annual Conference in New York this February, I chaired the session “Haunted: Cross-Historical and Cross-Cultural Specters in Print Practice.”  This panel took place on Saturday, February 16, at 10:30 am; more descriptions and list of other speakers are here.

I was also a discussant for the panel “What Is Contemporary Art History Now? Ten Years of the Society for Contemporary Art Historians,” on Friday, February 15, at 8:30 am. More descriptions and list of other speakers are here.



katie [dot] anania [at] gmail [dot] com


University of Nebraska-Lincoln
School of Art, Art History and Design
Lincoln, NE 68588