Photo of Emily Putnam

Emily Putnam

PhD Student, Visual Culture

Degrees:M.A. Art History, concentration in Art Exhibition and Curatorial Practice, Carleton University, B.A. Honours, History & Theory of Art; English Literature (University of Ottawa)


ARTH 3000 A: Art and Activism in Canada – Fall 2021

As an early-career curator and art history scholar, Emily Putnam’s research and practice emphasizes building relationships, collaboration, and public engagement. She grew up on the traditional territory of the Anishinabewaki and Mississauga nations, and presently resides on the unceded territory of the Algonquin nation.

She is currently completing a PhD in the Visual Culture stream specializing in contemporary art, notions/interpretations/interventions into the archive, and social justice. Her dissertation research thinks about how art oriented around archives, counter-archives, and the anarchive can transform the way knowledges are understood and expand the capacity with which we can interact with museum spaces. Her primary scope of theoretical interest includes activism and social justice, memory studies, worlding, and potential histories.

In addition to her work as a teaching assistant and now course instructor at Carleton, Emily works as an Image Research Associate at the Art Canada Institute  and a Research Assistant on various projects at Carleton.

In 2019, Emily curated two exhibitions at the Carleton University Art Gallery: Sites of Memory on the legacy of Japanese Canadian Internment through the lens of three contemporary artists; and Inheriting Redress, a community-collaborative exhibition about Japanese Canadian Redress efforts in Ottawa. Forthcoming in 2022/2023 is an exhibition with artist Norman Takeuchi at the City of Ottawa Art Gallery.

She is presently the co-coordinator of the Memory Studies Research Stream at the Centre for Transnational Cultural Analysis at Carleton and a current member of the Heritage Commemoration Policy Advisory Group for the City of Ottawa.

Emily’s dissertation research is funded by an Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2021-2022).