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Announcement
May 29, 2017

New MFA Art Writing faculty for fall 2017: Kaelen-Wilson Goldie, Michael Taussig, and Siddhartha Mitter

School of Visual Arts (SVA)

Kaelen-Wilson Goldie, Michael Taussig, and Siddhartha Mitter.

The MFA Art Writing program at the School of Visual Arts is thrilled to announce three new faculty members teaching three new courses this fall:

Kaelen Wilson-Goldie: Home Is a Foreign Place: Writing on Art, Conflict, and Estrangement

Michael Taussig: Walter Benjamin: Profane Illumination and the Dialectical Image

Siddhartha Mitter: Writing Art and Race

Read the full course descriptions on our website.

Kaelen Wilson-Goldie is a contributing editor for Bidoun who writes regularly for Artforum, Bookforum, and Frieze. She has traveled extensively in the Middle East and North Africa to report on the relationship between contemporary art and political upheaval, writing for newspapers, magazines, and journals including Aperture, Parkett, and The New York Times, among others. In 2007, she was a fellow in the USC Annenberg Getty Arts Journalism Program. She won a grant from the Creative Capital Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program in 2014. She is working on a book about contemporary art in postwar, reconstruction-era Beirut.

Michael Taussig is the author of The Corn Wolf (2015), Beauty and the Beast (2012), What Color is the Sacred? (2009), Walter Benjamin’s Grave (2006), My Cocaine Museum (2004), Law in a Lawless Land: Diary of a Limpieza in a Colombian Town (2003), Defacement (1999), Magic of the State (1997), Mimesis and Alterity: A Particular History of the Senses (1993), The Nervous System (1992), Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man: A Study in Terror and Healing (1987), and The Devil and Commodity Fetishism in South America (1980), among other books. In 2016, with David Levi Strauss, Peter Lamborn Wilson, and Dilar Dirik, he edited To Dare Imagining: Rojava Revolution.

Siddhartha Mitter is a regular contributor to The Village Voice and the Boston Globe. Mitter has also had bylines in Chamber Music, Foreign Policy, The Guardian (UK), Quartz, Scroll (India), The Wire (India), and contributes to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and the publications of Teachers College and Columbia University. Previous outlets for his work include Al Jazeera America, The Atlantic, BL Ink (India), Daily Beast, MTV, The National (UAE), The New Yorker, Paste, The Oxford American, Transition, as well as radio production, reporting, or guest segments for Afropop Worldwide, PRI’s The World, and WNYC New York Public Radio. Mitter was on staff as the Culture Reporter at WNYC from 2006–2009.

Join classes this September! The two-year MFA Art Writing program at the School of Visual Arts is now accepting applications for fall 2017.


Situated in the heart of New York City and at the intersection of words and images, the Art Writing MFA program at SVA offers students the opportunity to bring their language into a complex meeting with the visual arts and the ideas that inform and issue from them.

From its inception, this program has also had a special emphasis on the history and future of the image. The writers of tomorrow must study images in all of their manifestations in order to better understand how we are subject to them.

In addition to our exceptional core faculty—including chair David Levi Strauss, Nancy Princenthal, Dejan Lukic, Jennifer Krasinski, Thomas Beard, Debra Bricker Balken, Emmanuel Iduma, Chuck Stein, and Lynne Tillman—we invite many writers, critics, philosophers, editors, artists, and art historians in each year to give lectures and to meet with our students individually and in small groups. Recent guests include: Holland Cotter, Boris Groys, Cuauhtémoc Medina, T. J. Clark, Peter Schjeldahl, Lucy Lippard, Amy Sillman, Linda Nochlin, Anne Waldman, Hilton Als, and Dave Hickey.

Our students come from all over the world—Nigeria, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Brazil, Ecuador, Ireland, France, England, and Canada—as well as from around the United States. They also come from a wide variety of backgrounds and education, with undergraduate degrees in Art, Art History, Comparative Literature, Philosophy, and Creative Writing, among others. What they have in common is intellectual curiosity, a passion for art, and the desire to write well.

It is obviously a big advantage to have such a program situated in the heart of New York City, amidst the greatest concentration of artists and art activity in the world. The connections made in the program between students and others working in the field are invaluable and long lasting.

To see responses from 15 of our alumni to the question “What Is Criticism, Now?” in the December 2016/January 2017 issue of the Brooklyn Rail, go to brooklynrail.org.

We are now accepting applications for the Fall 2017 term. Generous departmental scholarships, as well as other forms of assistance, are available. Contact us at artwriting [​at​] sva.edu, or T (212) 592 2408 for further information or to set up an appointment.

To see sample programs, faculty bios, news, the online journal, recordings of our popular lecture series, and admissions procedures, go to artwriting.sva.edu.

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