Department of Art and Art Professions


Dipti Desai

Associate Professor of Art

Phone: 998 5700

Dipti Desai is an Associate Professor and Director of the Graduate Art + Education Programs. Prior to coming to NYU, she taught art education at SUNY-New Paltz. Her teaching career involves two years in New Zealand, where she taught courses in Education at Victoria University in Wellington and extensive experience teaching students from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds at the elementary and middle school level in the United States, India, and New Zealand. As a scholar and artist-educator she is committed to addressing the formative role of visual representation and its politics in order to affect social change. She has published widely in the area of critical multiculturalism/critical race theory in art education, contemporary art as a pedagogical site, art and social justice. She is the co-editor of Social Justice and the Arts (2014) published by Taylor and Francis and her co-authored book History as Art, Art as History: Contemporary Art and Social Studies Education (2010) received an Honorable mention for Curriculum Practice Category by Division B of American Education and Research Association (AERA). She received the 2012 Ziegfield Service Award in Art Education and Specialist Fulbright Award in 2014. 

Degrees Held

  • Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Ed.M. Columbia University, Teachers College
  • M.A. University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Diploma National Institute of Design, India


  • 2014 : Specialist Fulbright Award, Spain
  • 2012 : Ziegfield Service Award for Contribution to International Art Education
  • 2014 : NYU Service Learning Grant
  • 2011 : NYU Humanities initiative Grant, New York University
  • 2011 : NYU Humanities Initiative Working Research Groups Grant, New York University
  • 2010 : Curricular Challenge Fund, New York University,
  • 2010 : Art and Culture-- Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development
  • 2010 : Honorable mention for Curriculum Practice Category by Division B of American Education and Research Association (AERA) for Book-- History as Art, Art as History: Contemporary Art and Social Studies Education and Contemporary Art.
  • 2010 : Curricular Development Challenge Fund, NYU
  • 2009 : NYU Professional Development Grant
  • 2005 : Nominated for the Manual Barkan Award for scholarly contribution to the field of art education

Selected Publications

  • Bell, L., and Desai, D. (Eds.). (2014). Social Justice and the Arts. New York and London: Taylor and Francis
  • Dipti Desai, Jessica Hamlin, Rachel Mattson (2010). History as Art, Art as History: Contemporary Art and Social Studies Education. New York & London: Routledge
  • Desai, D. & Dart, D. (2012). Critical Art Education: the Art of Social (Ex)change. In K. Tavin and C. Balengee-Morris (Eds.), Standing up for Change, Reston, VA: National Art Education Association Press
  • Alfredson, A. & Desai, D. (2012). Color and silent racism, Visual Inquiry: Learning and Teaching.
  • Desai, D. (2010). Unframing Immigration: Looking through the Educational Space of Contemporary Art. Peabody Journal of Educators, 85,1-18.
  • Desai, D. (2010). Reflections on Social Justice Art Teacher Education. In In T. Anderson, K. Khallmark, D. Gussack (Eds.), (pp.172-178), Art Education for Social Justice. Reston, Virginia: NAEA. (view)
  • Desai, D. (2009). Imagining Justice in Times of Perpetual War: Notes for hte Classroom. Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, 6(2),6-26. (view)
  • Bootwala, M. & Desai, D. (2009). Memoryscapes: Witnessing the crisis of internal refugees through visual practice. Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education. V.27, 94-106.
  • Desai, D. (2008). Living the Discourses. In K. Keifer-Boyd, M. J. Emme & j. jagodzinski (Eds.) InCITE/InSIGHT/InSITE: Journal of Social Theory in Art Education, The First 25 Years. Reston, Virginia: NAEA.
  • Desai, D. & Chalmers, G. (2007). Notes for a dialogue in art education in critical times. Art Education. 60 (5), 6-11. (view)
  • Bailey, C. & Desai, D. (2005). Visual art and education: Engaged visions of history and community. Multicultural Perspectives, 7(1), 39-43.
  • Desai, D. (2005). Places to Go: Challenges to multicultural art education in a global economy. 46(4), 293-308. (view)
  • Desai, D. (2004). Contesting territories. Catalogue essay for SAWCC Art Exhibition" Territories" at Gallery Arts India.
  • Desai, D. (2003). Multicultural Education and the Heterosexual Imagination: A Question of Culture. Studies in Art Education, 44(2), 147-161.
  • Desai, D. (2002). The Ethnographic Move in Contemporary Art: What does it mean for Art Education. Studies in Art Education, 43(4), 307-323. (view)

Research Interests

  • Critical pedagogy in art education
  • Critical race theory
  • Contemporary art as a pedagogical site
  • Postcolonial theory
  • Artistic activism


  • E92.2275 Contemporary Art and Critical Pedagogy: Issues in Identity, Race and Multiculturalism
  • E92.2272 School Art Ii: Issues in Pedagogy and Curriculum
  • E92.2001 Research in Art Education
  • E92.2301 Final Projects
  • E92.2407 Student Teaching Art Secondary Schools