Lynda Jessup

Associate Dean, Graduate Studies and Research, Queen's University

Lynda Jessup is Associate Dean (Graduate Studies and Research) in the Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen’s University and Director of the North American Cultural Diplomacy Initiative (nacdi). She is member of both the Cultural Studies and Art History programs, where she advances research in Canadian and Native North American social and cultural history. Within this general framework, she focuses on the representation and circulation of Canadian and Indigenous visual and material culture in exhibitions and in museum collections, an interest that has taken shape most recently in research on the use of exhibitions in cultural diplomacy. She is editor, with Sarah E.K. Smith (Carleton University) of Curating Cultural Diplomacy, a special issue of the Journal of Curatorial Studies and of Negotiations in Vacant Lot: Studying the Visual in Canada, which she co-edited with Erin Morton (University of New Brunswick) and Kirsty Robertson (Western University). Her current study, Winners’ History: The Group of Seven, the National Gallery and Canada’s Global Affairs, explores the history of Canada’s national art narrative in conversation with other art histories in circulation internationally over the course of the twentieth century. It opens a particularly rich avenue for research by exploring the history of exhibitions as sites of official nationalism and the implications of their recent, increasingly legible participation in the denationalizing tendencies identified with globalizing dynamics. It suggests that, insofar as the nationalist art narrative is a powerful means of imagining national subjectivity and territorial identification, it also functions as a strategic site for imaginaries around new subjectivities and geopolitical identities.

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