Alicia Chester

Publications, Presentations and Workshops


  • "Outmoded Instant: From Instagram to Polaroid," Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism (Visual Studies Workshop, 2018)
  • "Arcadia and Anxiety: Travel Trailers and Fallout Shelter in Midcentury America," Dialectic V: The Figure of the Vernacular in Architectural Imagination (peer-reviewed journal of the School of Architecture at the University of Utah, 2017)
  • "Desert Pictures and Polaroid Memories," Dilettante Vol. 2: Networks of Belonging (Summer Forum for Inquiry + Exchange, 2016)
  • InVisible Culture editorial board and blog committee member (2014-16)
  • ArtSlant staff writer (2012-14)
  • What is Revolutionary Art Now?, contributing author to exhibition catalog for The Left Front: Radical Art in the "Red Decade": 1929-1940 (Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, 2014)
  • Theorizing Visual Studies: Writing Through the Discipline, coeditor (lead editor Dr. James Elkins) and contributing author of "Surface" (Routledge, 2012)
  • CANON journal cofounder (Visual and Critical Studies, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2008)
  • F Newsmagazine art criticism staff writer (School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2007-08)

Presentations and workshops

  • Panel: "The Future is Past: Identity and Photography Through Time," 57th Society for Photographic Education Annual Conference: 20/20 Vision, Houston (2020)
  • "Something in the Water: The Color of Decay in Matthew Brandt's Photographs," 108th College Art Association Annual Conference, Chicago (2020)
  • "Photography on the Brain: The Harvey Cushing Brain Tumor Registry, 1902–1938," 8th Annual Western Michigan University Medical Humanities Conference, Kalamazoo (2019)
  • "The Nitrate Touch: A Graduate Workshop" participant, the 15th International Domitor Conference: Provenance and Early Cinema, Rochester, NY (2018)
  • THATCamp Rochester lead organizer (2018)
  • DH@Guelph Summer Workshops participant, University of Guelph, ON (2017)
  • "Hysterical Dancing: From Charcot's Photographic Iconography to Kinugasa's A Page of Madness," Geographies of Interruption: Body, Location, and Experience, Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women's Studies graduate conference, University of Rochester (2016)
  • "Flashback as Form," Open Embodiments: Locating Somatechnics in Tucson, The University of Arizona (2015)
  • "Plot M: Nuclear Temporality," A Matter of Time: Temporalities of Material Culture, Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies student conference, University of Rochester (2013)
  • Presenter at Creating Justice: A Symposium Celebrating Art and Activism, Oakton Community College, Des Plaines, IL (2012)
  • "Beholding Bodies and Embodied Beholders: Annette Messager's Mes vœux," To Turn, To Tend Toward: Working Thesis, M.A. Visual and Critical Studies Symposium, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2009)
  • "Performing the Absent Body: Looking to Be Touched," Radical Intersections: Performance Across Disciplines, Dept. of Performance Studies, Northwestern University (2009)
  • Disruptions: The Political in Art Now, participant in symposium workshop titled "Event" led by Gregg Bordowitz, Open Practice Committee/Dept. of Visual Arts, University of Chicago, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2008)

Teaching/Curatorial Experience

  • Teaching Assistant, University of Rochester (2013-2018)
  • Lecturer in Photography, Department of Art and Design, Oakton Community College (2009-2013)
  • Instructor, Digital Arts and Photography, Lillstreet Art Center, Chicago (2011-13)
  • Photography Instructor, Early College Program, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Fall 2008 and Spring 2011)
  • Teaching Assistant, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2007-2008)
  • Co-curator, "Peripheral Views: States of America," Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago (July-September 2012)
  • Co-curator, "Quarterly Site #11: Line-of-Site," Western Exhibitions, Chicago (July-August 2012)
  • Curator, "A Hirsute Affair," Gallery X, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (October 2008)

Fellowships, Grants and Awards

  • George Eastman Museum Graduate Fellowship (2018-present)
  • Andrew W. Mellon Digital Humanities Fellowship, University of Rochester (2016-18)
  • Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women's Studies Research Grant, University of Rochester (2015)
  • Dean of Graduate Studies Travel Fund Award, University of Rochester (2014)
  • Summer Forum for Inquiry + Exchange residency, Joshua Tree, California (2014)
  • ACRE artist residency, Steuben, Wisconsin (2012)
  • Collections Research Fellowship, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago (2011-12)
  • Community Arts Assistance Program Grants, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs (2006, 2007, 2012)
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts Fellowship, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2003)

Dissertation Project

Study Nature, Not Books: A Genealogy of Photography from Psychiatric Portraiture to Brain Imaging