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Siona Wilson
Campus Affiliation: College of Staten Island
Degrees/Diplomas: MA, University of Leeds, 1997; Ph.D., Columbia University, 2005
Research Interests: Post-War and Contemporary Art, the History of Photography, Experimental Film, and Feminist Theory

History of Photography and Contemporary Art

Professor Siona Wilson teaches at the College of Staten Island as well as the Graduate Center. Her research interests are grounded in issues of sexual difference, race and sexuality at the intersection of art and politics in the twentieth century. Author of Art Labor, Sex Politics: Feminist Effects in 1970s British Art and Performance (Minnesota, 2014), she has published on photography, experimental film, video, sound and performance art, in edited collections and journals, including Art History, October, Oxford Art Journal and Third Text. Her recent curatorial projects include I can’t breathe, at the Gallery of the College of Staten Island, featuring works in video and photography by Nona Faustine, Patricia Silva, Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa and Kara Walker with a timeline of images documenting the activist group, Staten Islanders Against Racism and Police Brutality (SIARPB). She also co-curated Sexing Sound: Aural Archives and Feminist Scores (with Valerie Tevere and Catherine Karl) at the James Gallery, New York. Professor Wilson’s new research relates to documentary, gender and state violence in a diverse range of geographic sites, including Algeria, Britain, “Kurdistan,” Iraq and Vietnam, focusing on episodes from the 1930s to the present. She is interested in supervising doctoral dissertations with a historical emphasis (pre-1990) in a broad range of artistic media.


"'I can't breathe': Visual Economies of Resistance." In More than our Pain: Affect and Emotion in the Era of Black Lives Matter, edited by Beth Hinterliter and Steve Peraza, 111–128. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2021.

"Severed Images: Women, the Algerian War of Independence, and the mobile documentary idea." The International Journal of Francophone Studies 21, nos. 3&4 (2018): 233-254.

"Abstract Transmissions: Other Trajectories for Feminist Video." In Abstract Video: The Moving Image in Contemporary Art, edited by Gabrielle Jenning, 50–65. Oakland: University of California Press, 2015. 

"Structures of Feeling: Yvonne Rainer circa 1974." October 152 (Spring 2015): 3-25.

Art Labor, Sex Politics: Feminist Effects in 1970s British Art and Performance. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014.

"Nightcleaners: The Ambiguities of Activism and the Limits of Production"

"Prostitution and the Problem of Feminist Art: The Emergent Queer Aesthetic of COUM Transmissions"

Review of Modern Women: Women Artists at the Museum of Modern Art, edited by Cornelia Butler and Alexandra Schwartz (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2010)., October 13, 2011.

“Reading Freire in London: Jo Spence’s Photographs Between Popular and Avant-Garde.” In The Popular Avant-Garde, edited by RenĂ©e Silverman, 183–199. Amsterdam and New York: Editions Rodopi BV, 2010.

“’Girls say yes to boys who say no’: Four Artists Refigure the Sex War on Terror.” Oxford Art Journal 32, no. 1 (2009): 121–142.

 “Destinations for Feminist Art: Past, Present and Future.” Women’s Studies Quarterly 36:1/2 (2008): 302–307.

“From Women's Work to the Umbilical Lens: Mary Kelly’s Early Films.” Art History 31, no. 1 (2008): 79–102.

“White Metonymy: a Discussion of Jo Spence and Terry Dennett’s Colonization.” In Jo Spence: Beyond the Perfect Image. Photography, Subjectivity, Antagonism, 242–61. Barcelona: Museu d’Art Contemporani Barcelona, 2005.