Erina Duganne is associate professor and area coordinator of art history at Texas State University, where she teaches courses on the history of photography, American art, and art criticism and writing. Her current research project explores intersections between aesthetic experience, activist practices, and the affects they produced in the 1980s. "The Nicaragua Media Project and the Limits of Postmodernism," recently published in The Art Bulletin, forms part of this project. It uses the 1984 exhibition The Nicaragua Media Project to both enlarge the global scope and function of postmodernism’s critique of representation and consider some of its limitations, especially as a model for addressing photography’s potential to forge international solidarity in affective and visual terms.
Transnational visual practices, or what she calls visual solidarities, are also the subject of her current monograph on the 1984 ad hoc activist organization Artists Call Against U.S. Intervention in Central America. In this book-length project, rather than think about visual solidarity in terms of commonalities or forged identifications, she considers the misrecognitions or contingencies that it creates so as to assess both the political possibilities and limitations of Artists Call, especially as an activist model for today. Some of this research is featured in Northern Triangle, a traveling exhibition that she co-organized with members of Borderland Collective in response to the ongoing Central American migration crisis along the U.S./Mexico border. It is also forms the basis of Art for Future: Artists Call and Central American Solidarity Since the 1980s, an exhibition that she is co-organizing with Abigail Satinsky, on the visual and activist legacy of Artists Call. The exhibition will open at the Tufts University Art Galleries in January 2021.
Lastly, with Terri Weissman and Heather Diack, she is writing a textbook titled Global Photography: A Critical History. Forthcoming from Bloomsbury Publishing, this project adopts a thematic and global approach to connect international contemporary photographic practices with their historical pasts so as to bring out important and often overlooked interconnections and convergences.1