Melissa Geppert

Melissa Geppert, Ph.D.

Dr. Melissa Geppert is a specialist in contemporary art history, visual and spatial culture, and critical theory.  While her interests in these areas are wide ranging, she currently researches contemporary projects wherein artists collaborate with on-going initiatives in community development and human rights.  Dr. Geppert has presented her work internationally, including at the College Art Association annual conference, Performance Studies International, the Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics' Encuentro, the Latin American Studies Association annual conference, and Columbia University's Institute for the Study of Human Rights Historical Dialogues conference.  She also founded and co-directed a not-for-profit art space, Grammar Center, in Medford OR from 2014 through 2015, is currently co-director of Grammar Center Press artist books, and is a co-curator of an on-going series of curatorial projects titled GRLRM: Bedroom Cultures and the Digital Public Sphere, which exhibited its first iteration at Studio XX in Montreal Canada in September-October of 2015.  


  • Ph.D. in Art History from University of Minnesota (2012)
  • M.A. in Performance Studies from NYU Tisch School of the Arts (2003)
  • B.A. in Art History from University of Minnesota (2001)
  • B.F.A. in painting from University of Minnesota (2001)

Research Interests

  • Contemporary art since 1960
  • 20th & 21st century art of Latin America
  • art and cultural globalization
  • performance, video, installation, and participatory social practices
  • community-based, grassroots, and 'new genre' public art
  • urban/landscape studies, creative placemaking and tactical urbanism  
  • museum, tourism, and heritage studies
  • art and its role in community development, historical memory, and human rights initiatives

Recent Research Activities

Dr. Geppert has pursued interdisciplinary research with special emphasis on the aesthetic, economic, and institutional aspects of cultural globalization.  Her Ph.D. dissertation research and current book project, provisionally titled “Favela Effects: Art, Development, and Rights in the Global Periphery”, centers on specific case studies within Rio de Janeiro’s informal neighborhoods, or favelas.  Geppert analyzes the mobilization of arts and cultural programs to the ends of community development (e.g. violence prevention, urban infrastructure, youth empowerment, and human rights intiatives).  In addition to tracing the history through which the favela has been framed aesthetically, she identifies the global cultural networks through which these sites are invested with economic and symbolic value, investigates emergent models of cultural citizenship, and suggests new arenas for political identification and action. 

 A secondary line of research, titled “Recalcitrant Local: Towards a Critical Localism of Contemporary Art”, engages current investments with ‘the global’ and ‘the local’ as concepts, sites, and metaphors within contemporary art practice.  Drawing on emergent conversations within post-colonial criticism, Geppert advances the notion of a 'critical localism' at play in select contemporary projects. 


Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
19715 ARH3471 Art in the Last 25 Years World Wide Web (W) Unavailable
No Description Available
20083 ARH3670 20th Century Latin Amer Art Mixed-Mode/Reduce Seat-Time(M) W 09:00 AM - 10:15 AM Unavailable
No Description Available
18563 ARH3728 History of Illustration World Wide Web (W) Unavailable
No Description Available
19314 ARH4450 20th Century Art Mixed-Mode/Reduce Seat-Time(M) M,W 11:30 AM - 12:20 PM Unavailable
No Description Available
Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
90722 ARH2051 History of Western Art Ⅱ World Wide Web (W) Unavailable
No Description Available
92280 ARH3471 Art in the Last 25 Years Face to Face Instruction (P) M,W 04:30 PM - 05:45 PM Unavailable
No Description Available
92685 ARH3713 20th Century Photo History World Wide Web (W) Unavailable
No Description Available
90923 ARH5897 Adv Seminar in Art History Face to Face Instruction (P) M 06:00 PM - 08:50 PM Unavailable
No Description Available

No courses found for Summer 2019.

Updated: May 2, 2019