Assistant Professor
Department of Art and Art History


Ph.D., Art History and Visual Culture, University of Pittsburgh
M.A., Art History, Courtauld Institute of Art, London, UK
B.A., Art History, Pomona College

Regional and Thematic Interests

Southeast Asia; Europe
Art History; Visual Culture; Ecology


Brianne Cohen’s research and teaching focuses on contemporary art and visual culture in the public sphere. From participatory art to lens-based activism, she explores artistic practices concerned with global migration, decolonization, political violence, and ecology and environmentalism. Her current research addresses questions of ecological devastation and the formation of critical publics in Southeast Asia, particularly in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Singapore. Relatedly, she is co-PI for the Mellon Sawyer Seminar, “Deep Horizons: Making Visible an Unseen Spectrum of Ecological Casualties & Prospects” (2020-22), which will bring together diverse, interdisciplinary researchers and makers for a year-long seminar focused on questions of art and visual culture, ecology, indigeneity, and climate justice.

Before coming to Boulder, she taught as a visiting assistant professor at Amherst College and Brown University. After receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, she also held a joint postdoctoral fellowship at the Université Catholique de Louvain and Lieven Gevaert Centre in Belgium. From this research, she co-edited a book, The Photofilmic: Entangled Images in Contemporary Art and Visual Culture (Leuven University Press and Cornell University Press, 2016), and she has also published in journals such as RepresentationsAfterimageJournal of European Studies, Third Text, and Image [&] Narrative.

Selected Publications

“Mapping, SEA STATE, and State Violence on the Shores of Singapore,” in Expanding Systems Aesthetics: Art, Systems, and Politics Since the 1960s, ed. Johanna Gosse and Tim Stott (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, forthcoming 2020).

“Towards a Feeling of Animacy: Art, Ecology, and the Public Sphere in Vietnam,” Afterimage 47:3 (Sept 2020).

“Breathing, Carrying, Pouring: Khvay Samnang’s Eco-Aesthetic Gestures of Non-Violence/Atmen, Tragen, Gießen: Khvay Samnangs ökologisch-äesthetische Gesten der Gewaltloskigkeit,” in Khvay Samnang Dancing the Land/Khvay Samnang Das Land Tanzen, exh. cat. (Stuttgart: IFA, Institute for International Cultural Relations, 2020).

“Slow Protest in the Occupation of Cambodia’s White Building,” Representations 148:1(Fall 2019): 136-154.