Krista Thompson

Office: Suite 4400, Room 4415
Curriculum Vitae

Krista Thompson (Ph.D., 2002, Emory University) is the Weinberg College Board of Visitors Professor and Professor in the Department of Art History. She researches and teaches the modern and contemporary art and visual culture of the Africa diaspora, with an emphasis on photography. She is author of An Eye for the Tropics (2006), Developing Blackness (2008), and Shine: The Visual Economy of Light in African Diasporic Aesthetic Practice (2015), recipient of the Charles Rufus Morey Award for distinguished book in the history of art from the College Art Association (2016).  Thompson is the co-editor (with Claire Tancons) of En Mas’: Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean (2015) and her articles have appeared in American Art, Art Bulletin, Art Journal, Representations, The Drama Review, and Small Axe. She has received grants and fellowships from the Andy Warhol Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Foundation, and the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) and was awarded the David C. Driskell Prize from the High Museum of Art in 2009.

Thompson has curated several exhibitions, including Bahamian Visions: Colonial Photographs of the Bahamas (2003), the National Exhibition (NE3) (2006), Developing Blackness (2008) at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas; An Account of a Voyage to Jamaica with the Unnatural History of That Place, Fred Wilson’s reinstallation of the collections of the Institute of Jamaica, 2007); and co-curated En Mas’: Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean (Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, March 2015 and traveling internationally through 2017).

Thompson is currently working on The Evidence of Things Not Photographed, a book that examines notions of photographic absence and disappearance in colonial and postcolonial Jamaica and Black Light, a manuscript about Tom Lloyd, electronic light, and its archival recovery in African American art.


Selected Publications

Krista Thompson, "Introduction," Shine: The Visual Economy of Light in African Diasporic Aesthetic Practice. Durham: Duke University Press, 2015.

Krista Thompson, “A Sidelong Glance: The Practice of African Diaspora Art History in the United States.” Art Journal (Fall 2011): 6-31.

Krista Thompson, “The Evidence of Things Not Photographed: Slavery and Historical Memory in the British West Indies.”  Representations 113 (Winter 2011):  39-71. 

Krista Thompson & Huey Copeland, “Perpetual Returns: New World Slavery and the Matter of the Visual,” Representations 113 (Winter 2011):  1-15.

Krista Thompson, “The Sound of Light: Reflections on Art History in the Visual Culture of Hip Hop.” Art Bulletin (Dec 2009): 481-505.

Krista Thompson, "Preoccupied with Haiti: The Dream of Diaspora in African American Art, 1915-1942." American Art 21.3 (Fall 2007): 75-97.

Krista Thompson, “‘Black Skin, Blue Eyes’: Visualizing Blackness in Modern Jamaican Art, 1922-1938.” Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism 16 (September 2004): 1-32.

February 8, 2016