Hope Childers

Associate Professor of Art History
Art History
School of Art and Design


  • PhD: Art History, UCLA, 2011
  • MA: Art History, Louisiana State University, 2002
  • BFA: Ceramics, Louisiana State University, 1989


With both a research and teaching emphasis on the international encounter between Asia and Europe, I view my work as deeply engaged with the global dimensions of art, particularly from the late 18th century to the present.

The increased mobility of artists, art curators, viewers, and collectors has created intricate, extended, globe-crossing circuits, eroding the conventional boundaries between nations and art historical categories. My courses explore this complex encounter within various art historical contexts, including the global contemporary avant-garde, the history of exhibition and cultural display, and the entanglements between past and present.

  • What is the relationship between exhibitions, museums, art, and identity in an increasingly transnational and interconnected world?
  • What sort of avant-garde has emerged in Asia today?
  • What regional differences remain?
  • What are the implications of an increasingly fluid art world, in which media, technology, nationalism, and global capital all have a role to play?
  • What is the nature of the relationship between enduring traditions and modernity?
  • How do contemporary subjectivity, inflected through gender, race, and more, impact our understanding of art?

These are the kinds of questions which structure class discussions and which students pursue in their written work. My objective is to help students develop an intellectual framework for making sense of an increasingly complex landscape of art in the global sphere. Students learn that such investigations constitute an important part of their own art-making practices.

An important aspect of my teaching practice is strong involvement in other areas across campus, including the following programs:

  • Global Studies
  • Women’s and Gender Studies
  • Social Justice Studies

Courses Taught

  • Gender and Art History: Feminist Art in a Global Frame
  • Global Arts: Contemporary Asian Art in a Transnational Age
  • South Asian Arts, 15-20th c: Mughals to Modern
  • Arts of Ancient India
  • 19th-20th Century Modernism in Europe
  • Histories of Non-Western Photography
  • Art and the Machine
  • Exhibiting Cultures: Art and Internationalism since 1851
  • Exploring Art History: Concepts, Methods, and Practices

Research, Publications, & Presentations


  • "Drugs on Display: Framing knowledge through exhibitions," Alcohol and Drugs History Society Conference 2017, Utrecht, Netherlands, (June 22-25, 2017)
  • Panel Discussant, “Imaging the Asian Nation,” Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference Chicago, IL (March 26-29, 2015)
  • “The politics of opium-trade cartoons in the Indian vernacular press, 1890-1900” North American Conference on British Studies (NACBS) (Minneapolis, MN, November 7-9, 2014)
  • “Austerity and Excess: Framing Contradiction in the Figure of the Indian Yogi” Yoga and Visual Culture: An Interdisciplinary Symposium, Freer/Sackler Gallery of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution (Washington D.C., November 21-23, 2013)
  • “Opium Subjects: Photography and the Visual Public Sphere in Late 19th-century India” College Art Association Annual Conference (CAA) (Los Angeles, California, February 22-25, 2012)
  • “From Banyan Tree to Opium Den: Defining Spaces for the Social Consumption of Drugs in 19th-century Indian art” The Pub, The Street, and the Medicine Cabinet: The 6th Biennial Meeting of the Alcohol and Drug History Society, University of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY (June 23-26, 2011)
  • “Cabinet of Cures: India's Narcotic Drugs on Display during the Victorian Era” 21st European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies (ECMSAS), Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn, Germany (July 26-29, 2010).
  • “Representing the Labor of Opium in Mid-19th-Century British India” Intoxicants and Intoxication in Cultural and Historical Perspective, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK (July 20-22, 2010).
  • “Figuring Addiction in the Colonial Context: Images of Opium Use in British India” New Perspectives in South Asian Research, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL (April 11-12, 2008).
  • “The Visual Culture of Opium in British India, circa 1750-1912” Mephistos, History of Science Conference, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA (April 6-8, 2007).

Research & Publications

  • Contemporary Asian art and the global avant-garde
  • Colonial/postcolonial studies
  • Art and science
  • The history of drugs in human society and culture
  • Museum studies
  • Curating in the global sphere
  • Art History Pedagogy
  • Art Practices in History
  • Residency, Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris (May 2-June 28, 2016)
  • Research trip to South Korea Seoul, South Korea (May 2012)
  • “Seminar on the Visual Cultures of British India” Yale Center for British Art (YCBA) New Haven, CT (June 2009)Organized by Dr. Gillian Forester (YCBA) and Dr. Tim Barringer (Yale).
  • “Museology and the Colony” Getty Research Institute/UCLA/JNU Los Angeles, India, Pakistan (2005-2007) Organized by Dr. Saloni Mathur (UCLA) and Dr. Kavita Singh (JNU) Research Associate; fieldwork in Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, and Lahore, Pakistan.
  • “Collecting Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art” Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) Los Angeles, CA (Summer 2005) Research Internship.
  • Essay: “Spectacles of Labor: Artists and Workers in the Patna Opium Factory in the 1850s,” in 19th-Century Contexts, vol. 39, no. 3 (July 2017), 167-91.
  • Book review: “Images of the Canton Factories 1760–1822: Reading History in Art, by Paul A. Van Dyke and Maria Kar-wing Mok, 2015,” in The Newsletter, International Institute of Asian Studies (IIAS, Leiden), #75 (October 2016).
  • Book review: “Mimesis Across Empires: Artworks and Networks in India, 1765-1860, by Natasha Eaton,” in International Journal of Islamic Architecture, vol 5, no 1 (Mar 2016), 209- 12.
  • Essay: “Museum Watching: Visitors (and Their Needs) at the Stok Palace Museum, Ladakh,” in No Touching, No Spitting, No Praying: Modalities of the Museum in South Asia, edited by Saloni Mathur and Kavita Singh (New Delhi: Routledge, 2014).


  • Alfred University Joseph Kruson Trust Fund Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2017
  • SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2016
  • Alfred University Bernstein Funds for Faculty Research Travel, 2014
  • Alfred University Joseph Kruson Trust Fund Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2013
  • Alfred University International Fellowship for Faculty Development, 2012
  • Yale Center for British Art Summer Seminar Award: British India, YCBA, 2009
  • Edward A. Dickson Doctoral Fellowship, UCLA, 2005-2008
  • Getty Dissertation Workshop Award, Getty Research Institute, 2008
  • Center for the Study of Women Research Travel Grant, UCLA, 2006
  • McGinn Memorial Award, 2006
  • Lenart Internship, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2005
  • UCLA Graduate Summer Research Mentorship and Travel Award, 2004

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