Photo of Emily Putnam

Emily Putnam

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)

As an early-career curator and art history scholar, Emily Putnam’s research and practice emphasizes building relationships through ethical praxis, community 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.

Emily is an Image Research Associate at the Art Canada Institute and a Research Assistant on the Worlding Public Cultures project. She is currently completing a PhD in the Visual Culture stream under the joint-supervision of Dr. Ming Tiampo and Dr. Jerzy Elzanowski specializing in contemporary art, critical race theory, and the archive. Working on Japanese Canadian art and history since 2016, 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 include activism and critical race theory, memory studies, worlding, and potential histories.

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. Emily has organized several conferences and public programs ranging from graduate conferences to international academies such as Worlding the Global: The Arts in the Age of Decolonization (2019). During her ten years in Ottawa, she has acquired varied arts and museum training and experience previously working with institutions such as the Ottawa Art Gallery and the Canadian War Museum.

Emily is the Student Representative for the Cultural Mediations PhD program at ICSLAC and current Chair of the ICSLAC Student Caucus.