About

Jennifer Way is an art history professor, course developer, and researcher whose current publishing projects emphasize craft’s deployments as a therapeutic modality in relation to wars of the 20th and 21st centuries and contexts of disability and race. She is also writing about Asian art objects as part of a family collection displayed in their vanguard modern home.  She works as a tenured professor of art history at the University of North Texas.

Way creates courses and programs in the humanities and art history, including on art history methodology. Her own teaching and scholarly research focus on the period since 1900, emphasizing social meanings and uses that people make of art, craft, design, photography, collections, exhibitions, and histories, which she explores with historical and contemporary theory and archival and primary source materials.

Read examples of her published research online at Research Gate – https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jennifer_Way2/research 

Fall 2022 activity

keynote lecture!

Questions of interraciality in Lewis Wickes Hine’s photograph of WW1 craft therapy for the American Red Cross, for an international conference, Crafting Identities: Handicraft Programmes in Times of War, Genocide and their Aftermaths, c.1890-1950, at the University of Huddersfield, UK.

courses!

Art and healing

Methodologies of art history

New publication! I am excited that my article about craft and care in contexts of war, race, and ableism has been published. It comes from research for my current book project about craft, an aesthetics of care, and wars of the 20th and 21st centuries: “Healing WW1 Soldiers with Craft Therapy and its Photographic Narratives of Masculine Ableism and White Privilege,” Special issue: Material Cultures of Sickness, Health, and Healing, in Material Culture, The Journal of the International Society for Landscape, Place, & Material Culture 53 no.2 (Fall 2021), 34-54

Coming soon:

  • 2022 “Subjects of industry: craft therapy, its photography, and healing American soldiers of World War 1,” in by Micky Lee, Pat Reeve, Frank Rudy Cooper (eds.) Dis/ability in media, law, and history: Embodied AND socially constructed  (Routledge Taylor & Francis), 59-75.
  • 2023 “From salvaging to merchandising—Vietnamese craft on display in America, 1956-1958,” in Verity Clarkson, Harriet Atkinson, and Sarah Lichtman (eds.) Exhibitions beyond Boundaries: Transnational Exchanges through Art, Architecture, and Design from 1945 (Bloomsbury Academic Press), 39-58.

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 current anthology book project, Craft and War: Makers, Objects and Armed Conflicts since 1850 (under contract with Bloomsbury) will be the first to examine craft—in its fabrication, makers, users, and uses of craft objects—engaging with wars since the mid-nineteenth century in seventeen essays that invite cross-national, cultural, and chronological comparisons.

Her previous book, Politics of Vietnamese Craft: American Diplomacy and Domestication, considers 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, art and healing, African American art, and history of craft.

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.

Leadership

For Panorama, Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art, Way is serving as editor of Digital Dialogues, a section for critical commentary concerning born-digital, virtual initiatives, and data-driven scholarship. She is a member of the Council of Readers for the College Art Association’s annual conference. She is a member of the inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Council for her college, in preparation for which she earned a certificate for completing the Inclusion, Equity, and Community Building program at her university. 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.

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 in her courses. Way received a university award for mentoring students in research, and a university award for teaching.  She served as PI and Co-PI for numerous external and internal grants and fellowships from the Center for Craft, Newberry Renaissance Consortium Grant, Smithsonian Terra Foundation for American Art Senior Fellowship, Design History Society, Smithsonian The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the National Museum of American History, Clinton Institute for American Studies Fellowship, Humanities Texas (formerly Texas Council for the Humanities) a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Edward and Betty Marcus Digital Education Project for Texas Art Museums Grant, Fulbright Senior Fellowship Award Fellowship Council for the International Exchange for Scholars, and Yale Center for British Art.

Way’s university leadership promotes 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 during their senior year. She has overseen merit, promotion and tenure processes for her college and program and mentored 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.

Peer reviewing

Way has evaluated conference proposals, grants, and manuscripts for the College Art Association, Council on Undergraduate Research, European Science Foundation, HERA– Humanities in the European Research Area’s Joint Research Programmed, Danish Council for Independent Research, Ministry of Higher Education and Science, Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation, Bloomsbury Academic Press, and University of Washington Press, and for academic journals such as FolkloreIrish Studies Review, Feminist Media Histories, Journal of Curatorial Studies, Art Journal, and American Art Journal.