Photo of Carmen Robertson

Carmen Robertson

Full Professor
Office:201T SP

Carmen Robertson is the Canada Research Chair in North American Indigenous Visual and Material Culture in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences jointly appointed between the School for Studies in Art and Culture, the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies, and the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art, and Culture. A Scots-Lakota professor of art history, her research centers around contemporary Indigenous arts and constructions of Indigeneity in popular culture. Before joining Carleton, she taught at University of Regina and First Nations University of Canada in Saskatchewan for seventeen years. She currently leads the large SSHRC-funded Morrisseau Project: 1955-1985 related to the art of Anishinaabe artist Norval Morrisseau.

In 2016, Robertson published both Norval Morrisseau: Art and Life (Art Canada Institute) and Mythologizing Norval Morrisseau: Art and the Colonial Narrative in the Canadian Media (University of Manitoba Press). Her essays have been published in such scholarly journals as American Indian Quarterly, the Journal of Canadian Art HistoryMedia History, Canadian Art Review (RACAR), Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, The Ethics Forumand Third TextSeeing Red: A History of Natives in Canadian Newspapers (University of Manitoba Press, 2011), which Robertson co-authored with Mark Cronlund Anderson, has elicited awards and favourable reviews by both scholars and non-academics.

Robertson sits on the editorial board of The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education and RACAR and holds memberships in a number of scholarly associations. She is a member of the Board of Governors for the Social Science and Humanities Council and the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society. She also maintains an independent curatorial practice. She recently guest curated the Dana Claxton: The Sioux Project—Tatanka Oyate exhibition and symposium at the MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, SK (2017-18).

Robertson’s teaching is concentrated in contemporary Indigenous art history and curatorial studies. She is an advocate of hands-on, experiential learning and has led study trips to Peru as well as to galleries and museums to provide students with learning opportunities beyond the classroom setting.

Monographs and Books

  • Mythologizing Norval Morrisseau: Art and the Colonial Narrative in the Canadian Media. Monograph. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2016.
  • Norval Morrisseau: Life and Art. E-book. Toronto: Art Canada Institute, 2016.
  • co-authored with Mark Cronlund Anderson, Seeing Red: A History of Natives in Canada’s Newspapers. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2011.
  • With Sherry Farrell Racette, Editors. Clearing a Path: New Ways of Seeing Traditional Indigenous Art. Regina: Canadian Plains Research Centre, 2009.

Book Chapters and Essays in Edited Collections

  • “Storying Histories of Art: Activating the Visual” in Indigenous Art Histories: Theories and Methodologies for Canada and the United States: Routledge Companionedited by Heather Igloliorte and Carla Taunton. New York: Routledge (Accepted, 6000 words, forthcoming 2020).
  • “The Beauty of a Story: Toward an Indigenous Art Theory.” The Routledge International Handbook of Intercultural Arts Research. Edited by Burnard, Pam, Liz Mackinlay and Kimberly Powell. 13-28. London: Routledge, 2016.
  • “Mishomis in Black and White: Reconciling Press Images of an Indigenous Artist” Tecumseh’s Vision: Indigenous Borders After the War of 1812 Edited by McNab, Paul Emile, David McNab, and Ute Lischke. 109-134. Winnipeg: Aboriginal Issues Press, 2015.
  • “Grey Owl: Noble Savage Poster Boy,” Overlooking Saskatchewan: Minding the Gap. Edited by Rogers, Randal and Ramsay, Christine. 167-182. Regina: University of Regina Press, 2014.
  • “Paper Trail: PNIAI Artists in Winnipeg Newspapers, 1966-1977” Seven: Professional Native Indian Artists, Inc. Edited by Lavallee, Michelle. 225-232. Regina: Mackenzie Art Gallery, 2014.
  • “Telling Stories on Canvas: An Analysis of Norval Morrisseau’s Visual Narratives.” The Memory of Native in Aboriginal, Canadian and American Contexts. Edited by Besson, Francoise, Claire Omhovere, and Heliane Ventura. 304-316.Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014.
  • “Indian Princess/Indian ‘Squaw’: Representations of Indigenous Women in Canada’s Printed Press,” Culture and Power: Identity and Identification. Edited by Martin-Albo, Angel Mateos-Aparicio and Eduardo de Gregorio-Godeo. 129-146. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013.
  • “Imaginary Citizens: The White Paper and the Whitewash in the Press,” Narratives of Citizenship: Indigenous and Diasporic Peoples Unsettle the Nation State. Edited by Fleischmann, A, Van Styvendale & C McCarroll. 233-262. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2011.
  • “On the Road with Bob,” in Lee-Ann Martin, ed., Bob Boyer: His Life’s Work. 191-209. Regina: MacKenzie Art Gallery, 2008.

Journal Articles

  • “The Ethical Challenges of Recovering Historical Memory, Seeing Land: Resituating Landscapes Through Contemporary Indigenous Art Exhibitions,” Les ateliers de l’ethique/The Ethics Forum 14, 2 (2019): 108-127.
  • Land and Beaded Identity: Shaping Art Histories of Indigenous Women of the Flatland,” Revue d’art canadienne/Canadian Art Review, Vol. 432, No. 2 (Fall 2017): 13-29.
  • “Thunderbirds and Concepts of Transformation in the Art of Norval Morrisseau.” Journal of Canadian Art History, vol. 33, 2 (2012): 53-70.
  • “Utilizing PEARL to Teach Indigenous Art History: A Canadian Example.” Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, vol. 41,1 (2012): 60-66.
  • “Trickster in the Press” Media History, Vol. 14:1 (2008): 72-93.

Published Reviews of My Work

  • Kelm, Mary-Ellen. Review of “Seeing Red: A History of Natives in Canada’s Newspapers (2011) inAmerican Historical Review 118, 3 Summer (2013).
  • Matthew Tegelberg, A Review of Seeing Red: A History of Natives in Canada’s Newspapers” 2011) in Canadian Journal of Communication 38,1 (2013).
  • Callison, Candice. “Enduring Colonialism in Canadian News,” A Review of Seeing Red: A History of Natives in Canada’s Newspapers (2011) in Canadian Literature: A Quarterly of Literature and Review 212, Spring (2012).
  • Longman, Mary. Review of “Clearing a Path: New Ways of Seeing Traditional Indigenous Art.” Great Plains Quarterly, 31,2 Spring (2011) 160.

Curatorial Publications

  • “Visual Histories/Contemporary Stories” Dana Claxton: Sioux Project–Oy Ate Tatanka, exhibition catalogue. Mackenzie Art Gallery, 2020.
  • “Future Conversations” I DO NOT HAVE MY WORDS: Joi Arcand, Catherine Blackburn, Audrey Dreaver. Exhibition catalogue essay. Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery. 2019 (traveling).
  • “An Indigenous Prairie Aesthetic” Prairie Vernacular, exhibition catalogue essay. Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery. 2019 (traveling).
  • “the way in which we relate to each other” Wâhkôhtowin: Carrie Allison, exhibition catalogue essay. Owen’s Gallery, Mount Allison University, 2019 (traveling).
  • “Catherine Blackburn: New Age Warrior” New Age Warrior. exhibition catalogue essay. Mann Art Gallery, Prince Albert, SK. 2018.
  • “The Making of a Movement: Chee Chee and Trailbazing Artists of the 1960s and 1970s” Benjamin Chee Chee Exhibition, Temiskaming Art Gallery, Haileysbury, ON, February- April 2018.
  • “LAND(scape): Terence Houle: GIVN’R” DAG Volumes: No.1(2012) Edited by Curtis Collins. 45-50.Regina: Regina Public Library, 2012.


  • “Dana Claxton:The Sioux Project—Tatanka Oyate” Exhibition and symposium, MacKenzie Art Gallery. September-January 2017-2018, Regina, SK.
  • “Anxieties” Art Gallery of Regina. December 2016-February 2017, Regina, SK.
  • “Cherished Things” Co-curation of exhibition with Dr. Farrell Racette. July, 2010. Harbourfront Gallery, Toronto, Ontario.
  • “Clearing A Path: Indigenous Traditional Arts in Saskatchewan” Co-curation of exhibition with Dr. Sherry Farrell Racette. Saskatchewan Arts Board.  Opening November 15, 2005. Exhibition touring until 2009. Re-curated for Cultural Olympiad in Vancouver, BC February 2009, Round House Cultural Centre, Vancouver, BC.

Selected Book Covers

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