At A Glance

Andrea Feeser examines artworks’ conditions and connects them to the circumstances, cultures and moments in time that led to their creation and how their existence relates to what’s happening in the world today. Her research into the histories of place and community with respect to intertwined cultures and environments has had a global impact, redefining perceptions from the tourism industry in Hawaii to colonial indigo production and use in the American South. Her expertise in art history was sought out to help revise the AP Art History exam in 2016 and for decades has helped laypeople recognize the arts and humanities as some of the most important elements in life


Feeser believes the arts and humanities are critical. She has dedicated her life to bringing them dignity and championing them to be understood as among the most important elements in our lives.

Take the color blue, for instance. As indigo dye, it had a significant impact on American politics and the economy in the eighteenth century. Feeser’s 2013 book “Red, White and Black Make Blue” examines how colonial indigo culture still affects land use and race relations in South Carolina. In 2018, she was invited to expand on this work in the research symposium “Routes of Indigo: Interwoven Histories of the Global South” at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute.

Feeser’s interdisciplinary studies of texts, images and material artifacts have led to revelations regarding how different populations intersect and interact, the ensuing land use and abuse issues, and how places are physically shaped when communities are built and destroyed. She has worked with Clemson BFA and MFA students to explore the Cherokee history and circumstances of the Upstate, especially that of Isunigu, or Esseneca, the Cherokee Lower Town upon which Clemson is built.

Her latest book, “Jimmie Durham, Europe, and the Art of Relations,” examines the work of artist Jimmie Durham, a world-renowned sculptor, essayist and poet who investigates how historical and cultural interactions among humans, animals, objects and places shape aesthetic and social experiences. Durham’s reflections on the correlation between times, places and art drew Feeser to his work when she was an undergraduate student at Williams College, and to this day her research is dedicated to understanding the histories of place and community with respect to intertwined cultures and environments.

From 2011-2014, Feeser was part of the national team of educators that revised the Art History AP examination, and in 2016, she was a consultant on Cultural Surveys Hawaii’s Waikiki Cultural Assessment Plan. In 2017, she was an Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant finalist for her work on Jimmie Durham.

Feeser has presented her research at conferences sponsored by the College Art Association, The American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, The Group for Early American Cultural Studies and The Textile Society of America, among others.

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“I really want people to know that we can’t live without the arts and humanities. They’re not decorative. They’re not something to do on your free time. They’re foundational and critical and amazing. They need dignity and support, and they need to be understood as among the most important elements of our lives.”

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    • Histories of places
    • 18-century textiles
    • History of the South
    • Indigo
    • Colonialism

    Degrees, Institutions

    • M.Phil and Ph.D., The Graduate Center of The City University of New York
    • B.A., Williams College