As her educational background suggests, Deborah’s teaching and research pursuits explore art and artistic practice as forms of social and intellectual discourse. She is passionate about sharing art with students and views it as significant to any undergraduate program. To this end, she regularly escorts student groups to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Fabric Workshop and Museum, the Barnes Foundation, the UPenn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, the Hirshhorn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Neue Galerie, Dia: Beacon, and Philadelphia and Chelsea gallery tours, among others. Her research has been supported by the American Council for Learned Societies, the Henry Luce Foundation, the Giles M. Whiting Foundation for the Humanities, and the Fales Library and Special Collections at New York University. She has presented work in national and international contexts, including Seoul, Milan, Venice, and New York, and recently served as Visiting Scholar in Residence at Lingnan University in Hong Kong.
- B.F.A., Carnegie Mellon University
- M.A. Bryn Mawr College
- Ph.D., Bryn Mawr College
Art in the Contemporary Moment
Art Crime: Looting, Theft, Fraud, and Forgery
Gender Issues in Art and Art History
History and Theory of Photography
Special Topics in Contemporary Art
Critical Perspectives in Art and Art History
History of Art Senior Capstone
Survey of Art History
Visual Culture of HIV/AIDS
Economics of the Art Market
Art of Incarcerated People
“Whereabouts Uncertain: Reading Subversion in half/angel’s The Knitting Map in Cork, Ireland and Lancaster Country, Pennsylvania,” Textiles, Community, and Controversy (London: Bloomsbury) forthcoming, 2018.
“The Eye of the (Be)holder: Collaboration, Reciprocity, and Performance in AA Bronson’s Parting (Self)Portrait of General Idea,” Exposure Journal of the Society for Photographic Education (Sept. 2014).
Received the 2014 Society of Photographic Education, Award for Excellence in Historical, Critical, and Theoretical Writing. Link
“The Scenic Views from Citywide: Towards a More Imageable Philadelphia,” CITYWIDE (Philadelphia: CITYWIDE, An Exhibition of Independents, 2014).
“The Artist as a Work-in-Progress: General Idea and the Construction of Collective Identity,” Forum for Modern Language Studies, Special Issue on Artists’ Statements: Origins, Intentions, Exegesis, eds. Natalie Adamson and Linda Goddard (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012). Link
“Four-Letter Words: General Idea’s AIDS in the Age of Appropriation and Proliferation,” Art as Activism Symposium, Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, MA (2012).
Curator, “Reflective Equilibrium: An Exhibition of Art by Imprisoned People,” Little Berlin, Philadelphia, PA (2012).
Barkun and Gilson, “Choreographed Cartography: Translation, Feminized Labor, and Digital Literacy in half/angel’s The Knitting Map,” Textiles and Settlement: From Plains Space to Cyber Space, Textile Society of America. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska, 2010.
Received the 2010 Founding Presidents’ Award for Outstanding Original Scholarship from the Textile Society of America. Link