Chris Dingwall | Writing | Curating | Teaching


I am a historian of American and African American culture with interests in material culture, political economy, and race. I earned my PhD in History from the University of Chicago in 2015 and held a postdoc at the Jackman Humanities Institute at the University of Toronto from 2015 to 2017. Currently I am the Managing Editor at Design & Culture and teach at Oakland University and Wayne State. My writing has appeared in Archives of American Art, American Art, Gagosian Quarterly, AIGA's Eye on Design, and C Magazine.

I am working on two complementary research projects. Selling Slavery: Race and the Industry of American Culture (for the Slaveries Since Emancipation Series at Cambridge University Press) is a history of commercial plantation iconography and the making of the American culture industry during the long wake of slave emancipation. Black Designers in Chicago (for the University of Chicago Press) is a chronicle of African American artists and craftspeople in the American design industry during the twentieth century; this project began as an exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center in 2018 and is supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

I teach courses on mass culture and material culture, race and capitalism, slavery and emancipation, social theory, and the history of design. I am also available for guest lectures and public talks about race and the history of African Americans in design.

You can find a full accounting of my academic work on my CV; timely updates on Twitter; gallery and archive visits on Instagram; and fairly responsive correspondence via email