Jo Anna Isaak

Jo Anna Isaak Faculty Photo

John L. Marion Chair in Art History

Faculty Memorial Hall 440
Fordham University-Rose Hill Campus
Bronx, NY 10458

Phone: 212-929-7850
Email: [email protected]

Office Hours:  by appointment


BA University of British Columbia; PhD University of Toronto


Modernism, Contemporary Art, Critical Theory, Curatorial Practices and Environmental Studies


Jo Anna Isaak is the Marion Chair in Art History. This position is established in honor of John L Marion, FCRH'56 ( Marion Chair). Her research and writing focus on modern and contemporary art and critical theory and more recently on environmental issues. Her first book traced the connections between visual art and literature in European modernism; her second book was an exploration of laughter as a revolutionary strategy employed by contemporary women artists. She has organized several art exhibitions which have toured the U.S. and Canada including: "The Revolutionary Power of Women's Laughter," "Looking Forward, Looking Black" and "H20," an exhibition about water and the human body. Along with her students at Fordham University, she organized an exhibition on art and the environment entitled "And for all this, nature is never spent" (view NY Times article). She has been the recipient of several awards including: The J. Paul Getty Fellowship and the Hewlett Mellon Fellowship for Research in the Soviet Union.

  • Art History Introduction, 20th Century European Art, 20th Century American, Contemporary Art, Contemporary Art in New York City, Modernism in Art and Literature, Issues in Art, Museum Studies and Curatorial Practices, Art and Ecology, Feminism in the Arts, Women Make Movies, Art of the Russian Avant-garde

  • Books:

    Nancy Spero with Jon Bird and Sylvère Lotringer, London: Phaidon Press, 1996.

    Heresies: A Feminist Publication on Art and Politics & Idioma: A Journal of Feminist Post-Totalitarian Criticism, editorial collective, 1992, No. 26. Bilingual Russian/English issue.

    Feminism and Contemporary Art: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Laughter, Routledge, 1997.

    The Ruin of Representation in Modernist Art and Texts, UMI Research Press, 1986.


    "Insights from Italy: Pleasure, Plurality and Shaping the Present," in Politics in a Glass Case:  Exhibiting Women's and Feminist Art, editors Angela Dimitrakaki and Lara Perry, Liverpool University Press, Liverpool, Series: Value/Art/Politics, 2013, pp. 157-172. 

    "Bellagio Suite" catalogue essay for Selections from the Bellagio Suite, St. Thomas University, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, 2013, pp. 3-5.

    “ Memories, Rooms, Sound and Skin an interview with Irina Nakhova, “ n.paradoxa Vol .27, ed. Katy Deepwell, KT Press, London, June 2011.

    “Curatorial Practice as Collaboration in the United States and Italy,” co-authored with Gaia Cianfanelli and Caterina Iaquinta in Entering the Picture, ed. Jill Fields, London and New York: Routledge, 2012, pp. 293-311.

    "It's Leon Golub’s Time,” in Leon Golub, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, 2011.

    PressPlay, Conversations with Artists 1995-2005, Phaidon, 2006..

    Mobile Fidelities: Conversations on Feminism, History and Visuality, KT Press, 2006.

    "Trash: Public Art by the Garbage Girls," in Gendering Landscape Art, Manchester University Press, 2000. 

  • Palas por Pistolas/Shovels for Guns, March-April, 2014.

    Arctic Subtext, 2012.

    And for all this, Nature is Never Spent, 2009.

    H2O, 2002.

    Looking Forward, Looking Black, 1999.

    Laughter Ten Years After, 1995.