Jessica Landau | History of Art and Architecture | University of Pittsburgh
History of Art and Architecture

Jessica Landau

Lecturer in Curatorial Studies, HAA; Assistant Curator, Carnegie Museum of Natural History


Jessica Landau has a PhD in Art History with a minor in American Indian and Indigenous Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include 19th- and 20th-century depictions of North American animals, wilderness, and hunting, and the history of natural history and collecting, with an emphasis on decolonial methodologies. Drawing from the Environmental Humanities and Indigenous Critical theory, her research is enhanced by a focus on the experiential understanding of nonhuman animals and places. This means that depictions of nonhuman animals are not considered solely as symbolic representations, but also as once living and real individuals. This requires a species specific and biological understanding of the animal as well as a knowledge of the animal as an individual. The same understanding is implemented for depictions of landscape, which require knowing a specific place.

In 2019-2020 she was a Mellon/IPRH Pre-Doctoral Fellow in the Environmental Humanities at the University of Illinois. She has served as the managing editor of NAIS: the Journal of the Native American Indian Studies Association and Media-N: the Journal of the New Media Caucus, as well as the Executive Director of the Midwest Museum of Natural History in Sycamore, IL and as the Associate Curator of the Brinton Museum in Big Horn, WY.

Education Details

PhD, Art History, with a minor in American Indian and Indigenous Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2020

MLitt, History of Art and Art World Practice, University of Glasgow and Christie's Education, London, UK

BA, Religion and Studio Art, Wheaton College, MA

Selected Publications

"The Process of Coming and Going in this World: a Conversation about Interspecies Collaboration, Domestication, and Sound,” with Ruth Burke, Society & Animals, Special Issue: Perceptual Encounters (forthcoming, Fall 2020).

“A better acquaintanceship with our fellows of the wild”: George Shiras and the Limits of Trap Camera Photography,” in Ecocriticism and the Anthropocene in Nineteenth-Century Art and Visual Culture, edited by Emily Gephart and Maura Coughlin, London: Routledge, 2020: 158-166.

“Preserving the (uncanny) End of Nature: Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Dioramas,” in Antennae: Exposing Animals 40 (Summer 2017), 20-30.