Jessica L. Orzulak is a Ph.D. candidate in Art History specializing in contemporary North American art and visual culture, with special interest in the histories of photography, conceptual art, Native American art after 1945, and eco-critical art practices. Under the supervision of Professor Kristine Stiles, France Family Distinguished Professor of Art, Art History & Visual Studies. Jessica is writing her dissertation titled "Photography Otherwise: Denaturing Colonial Visualities in Contemporary Native American Art." 

Broadly, her dissertation is concerned with a response in contemporary art to the ways that photographs, as discrete visual objects and as a set of ideas, have been central to the historical record of the United States. She identifies and assesses a series of concerted efforts in the twenty-first century by Indigenous artists based in North America directed at the continued misappropriation and commodification of nineteenth and early-twentieth century images of Indigenous peoples in the spheres of academia, political policy, mass-entertainment, advertising, and beyond. She focuses on the work of artists specifically employing conceptual approaches to photography as a means to probe and dismantle the distinct historical relationship established between Native North American peoples and the camera.

Jessica received a BA from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in 2010 and an MA in Art History from the University of California, Riverside in 2014.

MA Thesis: “Picturing Soldaderas: Agency, Allegory, and Memory in Images of the 1910 Mexican Revolution”