Anna Arabindan-Kesson is an Associate Professor of African American and Black Diasporic Art with a joint appointment in the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University. Previously, she was the Assistant Professor of American Art at Temple University, Philadelphia (2014–2015). Prior to her academic career, she worked as a registered nurse in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. She is the director of Art Hx, a digital humanities project that addresses the intersections of art, race and medicine in the British empire. Her research and teaching focus on Black Diaspora Art, with an emphasis on histories of race, empire, medicine and transatlantic visual culture in the long nineteenth century. She also has interests in British, South Asian and Australian art.

She is the author of Black Bodies White Gold: Art, Cotton and Commerce in the Atlantic World (Duke University Press, 2021), which received the 2023 Historians of British Art award for the best single-authored book with a subject between 1800–1960. Two other books on the global plantation and on nineteenth-century Black diaspora art are under contract with Duke University Press and Routledge. Other publications include ‘From Poetry to Paint: Robert S Duncanson and the Song of Hiawatha’ in Intermediality: New Perspectives in American Art, Terra Foundation of American Art Essay Series (Spring 2022); ‘Caribbean Absences in African American Art History’ in The Routledge Companion to African American Art History (Routledge Press, 2019); and ‘The Impermanence of Place: Migration, Memory and Memoir’ in Women and Migration: Responses in Art and History (Openbook Publishers, 2018).

Arabindan-Kesson is the 2022–2023 Rome Prize Terra Foundation Fellow at the American Academy in Rome and the Senior Research Fellow of the Art Gallery of Western Australia. Other grants and awards include Visiting Fellow, Center for The Study of Social Difference, Columbia University (2020–2023); Center for Digital Humanities Data Fellowship at Princeton University (2021–2022); ACLS Collaborative Fellowship (2017–2019); and a Graduate Student Mentorship Award from Princeton University (2021–2022).

She earned a BA in history and art history from the University of Western Australia (2007) and a PhD in African American studies and art history from Yale University (2014).

Born in 1978 in Colombo, Arabindan-Kesson lives and works between Princeton and Perth.

SAF participation:
March Meeting 2023

Related Content

Arabindan-Kesson, Anna

March Meeting 2023

March Meeting 2023: The Postcolonial Constellation: Art, Culture, Politics after 1960