Jennifer Way is an art historian who specializes in modern and contemporary art, emphasizing social meanings and uses that people make of art, fabrication activities, craft, design, exhibitions and art histories and historiographies. Her research engages historical and contemporary theory and methods in the humanities and social sciences with objects, photographs, archival materials, makers, users, and situations and events.

Read her research online at Research Gate – https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jennifer_Way2/research  –including, with Sarah Grant, “The Politics of Vietnamese Craft: American Diplomacy and Domestication,” Journal of Vietnamese Studies 15 no2 (2020), 152-160.

Way’s current monograph book project, Craft, wellness, and healing in contexts of war (under contract with Routledge, Research in Art History Series) examines craft deployed as a therapeutic modality and aesthetics of care for Americans coping, healing, and rehabilitating from traumas and injuries of war, including COVID-19. Research is supported by a Center for Craft Research Fund Project Grant.

Her previous book, Politics of Vietnamese Craft: American Diplomacy and Domestication, explores how Americans appropriated a foreign art form in programs that intersected their diplomatic agendas and domestic life with South Vietnam on questions of Vietnamese belonging in the Free World from about 1955 to 1961.

book jacket July 2019

Among the course topics that Way has taught in relation to her research are: the visual culture of refugees and migrants, art and suffering, the politics of belonging, objects of diplomacy, cultural heritage and memory, politics of exhibitions, artists as citizens, critical histories of craft and art history, critical disability studies and art, and healing and art.

Way has also published on the work of British, Irish, and American artists active since 1945 and about art and technology with emphasis on gender. Her research has been supported by Trinity College, Dublin (Fulbright); Clinton Institute for American Studies, University College Dublin; National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh; Institute of International Visual Arts, London; Smithsonian National American Art Museum (Terra Foundation Senior Fellowship); Lemelson Center for Study of Invention and Innovation, Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.; Newberry Library, Chicago, and Center for Crafts, Asheville.


Way has developed collaborative, interdisciplinary academic projects in partnership with members of her college and university, and with the greater Dallas Fort Worth community and organizations located outside region. Selected examples include the public interview series, Conversations: Art, Politics & North Texas; the symposium, Leadership Perspectives on Technology and Art; student teaching for the Virtual Senior Center, NYC; and Collections Cultures and Collaborations, a student-research, collections-based project collaborating with local museums and collecting organizations. Way currently serves as a board member for the Visual Arts Society of Texas and she serves on the Council of Readers for CAA’s annual conference.

She has supervised over 60 MA art history projects and created and taught more than 30 seminar topics and 15 upper-level art history courses. Numerous scholars and artists have visited with students enrolled in her courses. Way received a university award for mentoring students in research, and a university award for teaching.  She has served as PI and Co-PI for numerous external and internal grants and fellowships.

Way served in university leadership roles promoting diversity and gender equity, graduate studies, the faculty voice in policy, and the accessibility of information in the workplace environment. Working across her university she developed a cohort group to report on the status of women faculty. She originated the Art History Department’s 4+1 BA/MA degree track  that mentors high-achieving undergraduate art history majors to begin their program of graduate art history studies in their senior year. She has overseen merit, promotion and tenure processes for her college and program and mentored numerous probationary faculty through tenure. Way served as program coordinator for art history , chaired academic search committees, and supervised college academic, gallery, and ad hoc policy and grievance committees, among others.