Erin Schwartz

Educational background

Ph.D., Interdisciplinary Arts, Ohio University
M.A., Art History, Kent State University
BFA, University of Saint Francis


Dr. Schwartz hails from the Midwestern part of the United States where she has several years of experience teaching at private schools, state universities and community colleges. She completed her doctoral work in the Interdisciplinary Arts department of Ohio University in 2014. Her research there was primarily focused on how contemporary African artists display and challenge signifiers of identity through performance and installation works. Her dissertation focused primarily on the work of South African artist, Berni Searle, by employing V.Y. Mudimbe’s notion of reprendre as a methodological rubric. Dr. Schwartz is continuing to develop the theory of reprendre in her current writing and upcoming publications. In addition to African Arts and Literature, Dr. Schwartz’s research fields include contemporary and performance art, globalism, gender and race identity theory, and the development of multi-cultural pedagogical techniques. She also runs a contemporary arts blog entitled ArtsUndone, which in the past focused on American Midwest regional arts but will begin to foster a more international discourse on art trends now that she is based at Wenzhou-Kean University in China. She has attended numerous conferences internationally, and has published previously on topics of identity construction in visual art ranging in periods from the Romantic to the Contemporary.




“African Performance Art.” Africa and the World: The Continent in Global History. 2019.
(Under review) “Speaking about African Art: V.Y. Mudimbe’s use of reprendre as a Methodology in African Art Discourse,” submitted to Afriques: Debats, methods et terrains d’histoire.
“Ingrid Mwangi: Enacting the Body as Stage,” ACRWSA e-Journal, Vol. 5, No. 1, (Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Association, Melbourne, Australia,) 2010: 1-10.

Research Interests

Schwartz is currently researching the contemporary African art market to analyze the ways ideas of authenticity, identity, and locale influence and shape the economics of art. Further, she engages with artists whose works actively critique the mechanisms of display through market forces.