Art museums, globalization, museum studies, sociology of culture, critical theory, art theory, art historiography, Arab States of the Persian Gulf
Xinyi “Amy” Zhang is a Term Instructor at Mason Kore and a Ph.D. Candidate in Cultural Studies. She received an M.A. in Liberal Studies from The New School for Social Research, a B.A. in Philosophy, and a B.F.A. in Art History from The University of Texas. She researches power dynamics among institutions in the fine art world, particularly how legitimacy is constructed and maintained by art institutions in the non-West. Her dissertation research focuses on the establishment of art museums in the Arabian Peninsula and understanding their reception in the Euro-American media. At George Mason University, she has taught courses in the School of Integrative Studies, Art History, Honors College, and the Cultural Studies program.
Her dissertation explores institutional legitimacy in the global art world through a comparative analysis of newly developed fine art museums in the Arabian Peninsula and established museums in the Euro-American West. In part, it analyzes Euro-American media reception to three museums in Qatar and the U.A.E., finding that media discourse is deeply ambivalent towards globalization and divided when regarding the function of universal art museums—conditions that are not original to the Gulf context but are agitated by the new art institutions arising there. It also constructs a comparative socio-historical analysis of several contemporary museum practices relying on archival research and ethnographic fieldwork. This analysis outlines shared dynamics experienced by relatively new non-Western actors and institutions as they engage with a dominant fine arts world in transition: one that emerged predominantly from Western European intellectual cultures and institutions but which has also, in various ways, attempted to revise and correct for its Eurocentric heritage.
Her dissertation research has been supported by the Provosts Research Fellowship, twice supported by the Interdisciplinary Curriculum Collaborative Award, and she has been a Davis Fellow at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Before coming to George Mason University, she was a fellow of the India-China Institute at The New School.
ARTH101: Introduction to Visual Arts
INTS362: Social Justice and Human Rights
INTS303: Introduction to Globalization
CULT320: Globalization and Culture
The New School for Social Research, Liberal Studies, M.A.
The University of Texas at Austin, Art History, B.F.A.; Philosophy, B.A.