CSGS Visiting Scholar: Alpesh Patel

CSGS Visiting Scholar: fall 2010/spring 2011

Alpesh PatelAlpesh Patel

Alpesh Patel is an independent art historian and curator. He received his B.A. in 1997 with distinction in art history from Yale University and completed his Ph.D. last year at the University of Manchester, England. His doctoral dissertation on queer South Asian visual cultures has been reciprocally shaped by his organization of the 2007 exhibition “‘Mixing It Up: Queering Curry Mile and Currying Canal Street,” a series of public art projects and performances that were situated in over seven museums and public spaces throughout the city of Manchester. He has delivered talks on his research in Europe and the US and has several academic publications in press or forthcoming.

From 1997 to 2005 he was based in New York City where he worked in the curatorial and director’s offices of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the New Museum of Contemporary Art. He is currently based in Florida and New York.

Recent exhibition reviews published by Dr. Patel:

Wangechi Mutu

Brice Brown and “Sèvres and Savage”

Kanishka Raja

Current research:

Queer(ing) Desi as Visual Knowledge

My current book project is an interdisciplinary study of urban culture, art and cultural policy, and social identities across the “Brown Atlantic” — the conceptual and geographical transnational space roughly bound by British colonialism (the South Asian subcontinent, the U.S., and the U.K.). More specifically, this project identifies the tensions and intersections between “queer” and “Desi” (the Hindi word meaning “from my country”) as identities through a consideration of the politics of the production and consumption of a broad range of visual material (from fine art to advertising ephemera) within various spaces (cultural, urban, and public) in the U.S. and U.K. Reflecting my interdisciplinary approach, I bring into productive dialogue a wide-ranging group of theoretical models (aesthetic, queer, and postcolonial) through the lens of both traditional disciplines of social science (urban studies, geography, and sociology) and humanities (art history and visual studies, film studies, and philosophy).