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Dipti Desai

Professor of Art and Art Education

Art and Art Professions

998 5700

Dipti Desai is Professor of Art and Art Education and Director of the Graduate Art + Education Programs at New York University, USA. As a scholar and artist-educator her work addresses the intersection between visual art, activism, and critical pedagogy. She has published widely in the area of critical multiculturalism/critical race theory in art education, contemporary art as a pedagogical site, critical pedagogy and artistic activism. She is the co-editor of Social Justice and the Arts book published by Taylor and Francis and her co-authored book History as Art, Art as History: Contemporary Art and Social Studies Education received an Honorable mention for Curriculum Practice Category by Division B of American Education and Research Association (AERA). Among her awards, she received the Studies Lecture Award for scholarly contribution to art education, Specialist Fulbright Award and the Ziegfield Service Award for contribution to International Art Education. Her most recent project entailed curating a special issue on artistic activism for the journal, Visual Inquiry: Learning and Teaching Art (2017).

Selected Publications

  • Desai, D. (2019). Art and Activism: Moving between and beyond Aesthetic Objects to Organizing. In D. Garnet & A. Sinner (Eds.), Art, Culture, and Pedagogy: Revisiting the Work of Graeme Chalmers. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill Publishers.
  • Desai, D. (2018). Staging Protest as Art and Pedagogy. Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present Journal (ASAP/Journal), 3(2), 423-447.
  • Desai, D. (2018). University of the Unknown: Interview with Raqs Media Collective, Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas, 4(1-2),
  • Desai, D. (2018). Cultural diversity in art education. International Encyclopedia for Art and Design Education.(Ed.), Freedman, K. London: Wiley-Blackburn Publication.
  • Desai, D. (2017). Artistic Activism in Dangerous Times: Teaching and Learning Against the Grain, Visual Inquiry: Learning and Teaching Art, 6(2), 135-144.
  • Desai, D. & Finkelstein, A. (2017). NYU Flash Collective: An Art Intervention in the Public Sphere. In G. Sholette, C. Bass, & J. Kasper ( Eds.), Art as Social Action: An Introduction to the Principles & Practices of Teaching Social Practice Art. New York: Allworth Press.
  • Desai, D. & Hamlin, J.(2017). Sites of Learning: Artists and Educators as Change Agents. In R. Mateus-Berr & L. Reitstatter (Eds.), Art & Design Education in Times of Change, pp. 37-42, Vienna, Austria: De Gruyter.
  • Dewhurst, M. & Desai, D. (2016). Interviewing as a pedagogical tool in social justice art: A case study of an after-school arts program. Journal of Social Science Education, Special Issue on Civic Education and Art Education, 15(4), 20-28.


Art + Education

Join our community of artists, educators, and activists in the historic Lower East Side and Greenwich Village⁠ – epicenter of social activism, radical education, and cutting-edge art in New York City!

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Artistic Activism as Radical Research

Artistic activism is a practice grounded in envisioning new ways of acting and
thinking in our communities in order to create social change. It challenges the notion that art practice, research, and social activism are discrete entities. As a form of “militant” or radical research, this praxis based class focuses on a range of different forms of artistic activism as casestudies to understand how artists use creative research strategies to engage with communities, social movements, and cities. A major part of the class focuses on collaborative fieldwork in the public realm or in communities.
Course #
ART-GE 2102
Art and Art Professions