Visiting Professors


The William Wilson Corcoran Visiting Professor position builds on the school’s robust community engagement legacy and enables the Corcoran to drive social change at the local level. By engaging directly with the D.C. community, this position, as well as future Corcoran-backed programs, enhance the school’s ability to listen and respond to the city’s broader needs.

The visiting professorship allows the Corcoran to bring exciting individuals that are committed to the role creativity plays in addressing complex issues.

Funding for the position comes from a grant administered by the Trustees of the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Successive individuals selected for this role will be chosen from the expanding field of socially and publicly engaged art practice.


A profile of Caroline Woolard, an artist and educator, created by Nicholas Aguirre Zafiro (Political Communication, Communication and Media Studies '25). Woolard’s practice focuses, at its heart, on collaboration, bringing seemingly disparate worlds together. In doing this work, Woolard helps facilitate the bridge between the world we want and the world of the present.

Woolard is this year's William Wilson Corcoran Visiting Professor, a role that builds on the school’s robust community engagement legacy and enables the Corcoran School to drive social change at the local level. By engaging directly with the D.C. community, this position, as well as future Corcoran-backed programs, enhance the school’s ability to listen and respond to the city’s broader needs.

2023-2024: Caroline Woolard
Caroline Woolard


Caroline Woolard is an artist, educator, and the Chief Cultivation Officer at Open Collective, a technology platform that supports 15,000 groups to raise and spend $35 million a year in full transparency. Woolard is a founding co-organizer of which exists to grow the Solidarity Economy movement by centering systems change work led by artists, and is the co-author of three books: Making and Being (Pioneer Works, 2019), a book for educators about interdisciplinary collaboration, co-authored with Susan Jahoda; Art, Engagement, Economy (onomatopee, 2020) a book about managing socially-engaged and public art projects; and TRADE SCHOOL: 2009-2019, a book about peer learning that Woolard catalyzed in thirty cities internationally over a decade. Woolard’s artwork has been featured twice on New York Close Up (2014, 2016), a digital film series produced by Art21 and broadcast on PBS. Press during Woolard's time at Corcoran include the GW Hatchet and GW Today.

2022-2023: Aruna D'Souza
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Aruna D’Souza, the 2022-2023 William Wilson Corcoran Visiting Professor of Community Engagement, writes about modern and contemporary art, intersectional feminisms and how museums shape our views. In 2022, D'Souza was featured in GW Today. Her book, Whitewalling: Art, Race, and Protest in 3 Acts, was named one of the best art books of 2018 by the New York Times.

2021-2022: Paul Farber
Paul Farber


Paul M. Farber is Director and Co-Founder of Monument Lab. He also currently serves as Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Public Art & Space at the University of Pennsylvania. Paul Farber writes about Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg’s In America (2021) for Artsy.


2020-2021: Paul Rucker
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Paul Rucker

Paul Rucker is a visual artist, composer, and musician who often combines media, integrating live performance, sound, original compositions and visual art. His work is the product of a rich interactive process, through which he investigates community impacts, human rights issues, historical research and basic human emotions surrounding a particular subject matter. Much of his current work focuses on the Prison Industrial Complex and the many issues accompanying incarceration in its relationship to slavery. He has presented performances and visual art exhibitions across the country and has collaborated with educational institutions to address the issue of mass incarceration. Presentations have taken place in schools, active prisons and also inactive prisons such as Alcatraz.

Rucker has received numerous grants, awards and residencies for visual art and music. He is a 2012 Creative Capital Grantee in visual art as well as a 2014, 2018, 2019 MAP (Multi-Arts Production) Fund Grantee for performance. In 2015 he received a prestigious Joan Mitchell Painters & Sculptors Grant as well as the Mary Sawyer Baker Award. In 2016 Paul received the Rauschenberg Artist as Activist fellowship and the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, for which he is the first artist in residence at the new National Museum of African American Culture.

Residencies include MacDowell Colony, Blue Mountain Center, Ucross Foundation, Art OMI, Banff Centre, Pilchuck Glass School, Rauschenberg Residency, Joan Mitchell Residency, Loghave, Montalvo, Hermitage, Hemera Artist Retreat, Air Serembe, Creative Alliance and the Rockefeller Foundation Study Center in Bellagio, Italy.  He will be a Master Teacher at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in 2021. In 2013-2015, he was the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation Artist in Residence and Research Fellow at the Maryland Institute College of Art. He was awarded a 2017 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2018 TED Fellowship, a 2020 TED Senior Fellowship and the 2018 Arts Innovator Award from the Dale and Leslie Chihuly Foundation and Artist Trust. His most recent award is a 2020 Art for Justice Fund Fellowship.

2019-2020: Molly Jane Udaya Sturges


Molly Jane Udaya Sturges (composer/artistic director/performer/educator/facilitator) has worked with individuals, organizations, and communities around the globe for over twenty-five years focusing on creativity, healing, contemplative practice and social transformation.

Molly has created and directed many large-scale social practice projects including Founding Artistic Director/Co-founder of Lifesongs (an on-going collaborative program between musicians, youth, nursing homes residents and hospice participants), and Founding Artistic Director of Littleglobe, a diverse arts-in-community artist led non-profit based in New Mexico (

Selected past projects include: "Common Ground", a multi-year community building & multi-arts project with intergenerational participants from two Eastern Agency Diné communities and the rural village of Cuba, NM (New World Foundation and more); Composer/Artistic Director for SALVE, a music project with returning women veterans (National Hispanic Cultural Center); Artistic Director/Creator/Composer for "Memorylines", a multi-lingual community-sourced opera commissioned by The Santa Fe Opera; Creator/Director/Composer of "Moment", a five-month intergenerational multi-arts project with homeless older adults, artists and youth commissioned by The European Union Festival of Culture in Ireland.

Molly regularly creates a wide range of in-situ participatory creative activations uniquely designed for each collaborator and context. Recent activations include events with The Dalai Lama and The University of Wisconsin with as well as The Academy for Contemplative and Ethical Leadership/Mind & Life Institute. In the fall of 2019 she will be launching a new project, "Waking The Oracle", with students from Corcoran School of Art and Design and a range of community participants. Commissions and support for social practice projects have included; MAP Fund, EU Festival of Culture, Blackrock, Nathan Cummings Foundation, The Santa Fe Opera, The City of Evora (Portugal), Arts-In-Hospital (Scotland), and more.

In 2008 Molly was awarded the United States Artist Fellowship in Music. Her music is rooted in experimental and improvisational musical practices. Molly holds an MA in World Music Composition from Wesleyan University where she studied with MacArthur Fellow Anthony Braxton and the late great musical mystic Jon Barlow. As a performing vocalist, recording artist, and leader of creative music ensembles she has received numerous commissions and residencies. She has written and performed original music for a wide array of projects including music for dance companies, silent films, circuses and sound installations.

Molly served on the faculty in Arts & Ecology at the University of New Mexico for five years.  In 2018 she joined the University of Colorado's CREST lab as a Creative Director for the pilot project of The Colorado Lullaby Project in collaboration with Carnegie Hall. She also leads workshops, master classes, and does public speaking on a range of topics including; creativity & aging, contemplative leadership, death & dying, participatory story-making, arts & climate justice, social imagination, intuitive literacy, and creativity and innovation.

A life-long student and teacher of contemplative and somatic practices including meditation, yoga and qigong, Molly integrates these sensibilities and practices into all of her work. She has been a devoted meditator for over 32 years. She is a certified mindfulness and leadership teacher with The Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute and teaches bi-annual meditation retreats.

Molly is currently serving as Artistic Director with the newly formed Elmfield Institute (


2018-2019: Cristal Chanelle Truscott


Cristal Chanelle Truscott is a playwright, director, scholar, educator, culture worker, facilitator and founder of the touring company, Progress Theatre (PT). As a playwright and director she creates “NeoSpirituals,” or acapella musicals using, "SoulWork," the generative method she developed from generations-old African American performance traditions. Her plays (PEACHES'MEMBUH, and The Burnin') blend pop-culture and academic conversations, fusing genre from Negro Spirituals and Folklore to Blues, R&B and Hip Hop to produce performances that span and straddle time between histories and the present to support the healing of communities. Most recently, she received the 2018 NEFA National Theatre Project Grant (New England Foundation for the Arts) to support her next play, Plantation Remix, a site-responsive piece to be performed at historic plantations and related sites to revisit, raze, rehabilitate and reimagine the separatist genre of U.S. plantation tourism. Her artistic work has garnered recognition, publication and grants from the likes of the 2019 Creative Capital Award, the MAP Fund, Ford Foundation, Theatre Communications Group, National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts and the National Performance Network’s Creation Fund Grant. She is a recipient of the Doris Duke Impact Artist Award, which honors artists who are influential in the shaping of powerful creative movements in contemporary dance, jazz, theatre and related multidisciplinary work. Visit to learn more.

As a scholar, Dr. Truscott's research focus explores representations of spiritual diversity in African American Theatre before 1950, most recently featured in The Routledge Companion to African American Theater and Performance (2018). She has served as Assistant Editor of the performance journal, TDR: The Drama Review; Associate Editor for Azizah Magazine; and on the editorial boards of the publications Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory and Black Masks Magazine: Theater and Entertainment.

As an educator, she has been a professor, lecturer and speaker at various universities and arts programs including Spelman College, San Francisco State University, Prairie View A&M University (where she served as Theatre Program Director and Department Head of Music & Theatre), NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Columbia University and internationally at Wits University in South Africa, and Albeda College, DOX Theater Group and Theatre RAST in The Netherlands. Truscott has been teaching and training artists and engaging communities using her methodology and pedagogy, SoulWork, in master classes, workshops and courses in university, professional, arts-based and international settings for over 15 years.

She completed her BFA in Theatre with a minor in Africana Studies from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts; and her Master of Arts and Doctoral degrees from NYU’s Department of Performance Studies.

2017-2018: Joseph Kunkel
photo of joseph kunkel


Joseph Kunkel is a community designer and educator working on building capacity in Indian Country. His professional career has centered on community-based design, ranging from material research and fabrication, to community-based planning, design and development. His core design practices include, culturally appropriate design, community engagement, healthy housing design, design thinking, capacity building, urban mapping and way-finding design, native-to- place architecture, master and comprehensive planning. He is also a Northern Cheyenne Tribal Member.

Kunkel’s most recent work has been to research and share exemplary Native American Indian housing projects and processes nationwide and build and develop emerging best practices, which has lead to the development of an online Health Homes Road Map for affordable housing development in Indian Country, funded by HUD’s Policy, Development, and Research Office. As an Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow, Joseph worked directly with the Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative (SNCC), and the Santo Domingo Tribal Housing Authority (SDTHA). At the SDTHA Joseph assisted with the planning and development of a 41 unit Low-Income- Housing-Tax- Credit development, along with leading the housing comprehensive master plan, which started with an Our Town grant funded by the National Endowments for the Arts, and has led to an ArtPlace America grant award.

Kunkel's spring exhibition, Bridging Boundaries, features critical conversations that investigate, re-imagine and create alternatives to physical and non-physical divisions by focusing on works of art and architecture that reconcile or otherwise address polarized geographies. It explore works of art across a spectrum of design tactics, ranging from policy to the development of alternative building typologies, to demonstrate how architecture and design can create spaces for unification and negotiation.


2016-2017: Mel Chin
photo of Mel chin


Mel Chin was born in Houston, Texas in 1951. Chin’s art, which is both analytical and poetic, evades easy classification. He is known for the broad range of approaches in his art, including works that require multi-disciplinary, collaborative teamwork and works that conjoin cross-cultural aesthetics with complex ideas.

Chin also insinuates art into unlikely places, including destroyed homes, toxic landfills, and even popular television, investigating how art can provoke greater social awareness and responsibility. He developed Revival Field (1989-ongoing), a project that has been a pioneer in the field of “green remediation,” the use of plants to remove toxic, heavy metals from the soil. From 1995-1998 he formed the collective, the GALA Committee, that produced In the Name of the Place, a conceptual public art project conducted on American prime-time television. In KNOWMAD, Chin worked with software engineers to create a video game based on rug patterns of nomadic people facing cultural disappearance. His film, 9-11/9-11, a hand-drawn, 24 minute, joint Chilean/USA Production, won the prestigious Pedro Sienna Award, for Best Animation, National Council for the Arts and Cultures, Chile, in 2007. Chin also promotes “works of art” that have the ultimate effect of benefiting science, as in Revival Field, and also in the recent Operation Paydirt/Fundred Dollar Bill Project, an attempt to make New Orleans a lead-safe city. These projects are consistent with a conceptual philosophy, which emphasizes the practice of art to include sculpting and bridging the natural and social ecology.

Chin’s work was documented in the popular PBS program, Art of the 21st Century. Chin has received numerous awards and grants from organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council for the Arts, Art Matters, Creative Capital, and the Penny McCall, Pollock/Krasner, Joan Mitchell, Rockefeller and Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundations, among others.

Visiting Artists and Scholars Committee (VASC)

The Visiting Artists and Scholars Committee brings respected established and emerging practitioners in the arts to present public lectures, conduct one-on-one critiques, lead small seminars or reading discussions, and share informal meals with students. All VASC lectures are free and open to the public.

The lecture programs are organized by the Visiting Artists and Scholars Committee (VASC). Run by BA, MA, and MFA students within the Corcoran School, the committee brings six to eight artists and scholars to speak on campus each year.

Other recent visiting artists include: Janine Antoni, Mark Dion, Jill Downen, Wolfgang Laib, Anthony McCall, The Otolith Group, William Pope.L, Walid Ra’ad, Matthew Ritchie, and Semiconductor.

Follow VASC on Instagram for the latest updates.


Spring 2024

NEXT Panel: Being Together Again, moderated by Caroline Woolard
Friday, April 26, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, Smith Hall of Art 114

Foon Sham, Artist Talk
Wednesday, April 10, 6:15 pm, Smith Hall of Art 115
no registration necessary

Clement Akpang, "Iconology of Waste in Art: A Transmodernist Interrogation"
Friday, March 22, 10:00 am, Smith Hall of Art 106

Karen Wilkin, Dr. Luther Brady: Passionate Collector
Thursday, February 29, 2024 // 6:00 pm // Flagg Building, Hammer Auditorium

Fall 2023
Dr. Maryl Gensheimer presents Public baths and the Roman city: Spaces of Entertainment and their Visual Experience
Tuesday, September 26, 2023 // 6:15 pm // Smith Hall of Art 114
*This lecture is dedicated to the memory of Professor Diane Cline.


Fall 2022
Robert Stackhouse and Carol Mickett, Artists
Thursday September 15, 2022 // 5:30 pm // Hammer Auditorium
*This event is co-sponsored with the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery

Spring 2023
Visiting Artists & Scholars Committee Talk with Robin Givhan
Thursday February 16 , 2023 // 5:30 pm // GW Textile Museum


Fall 2020
Sarah Cash, Art Historian & Curator, NGA
Thursday November 5, 2020 // 6:30 pm // Via Webex

Spring 2021
Donna Lucey, Writer & Editor, Virginia Humanities
Thursday February 4, 2021 // 6:30 pm

Dr. Kaira M. Cabañas, Art Historian
Thursday April 8, 2021 // 6:30 pm // Via Webex


Spring 2020
Thierry de Duve, Art Historian
Tuesday February 4, 2020 // 6:00 pm // Smith 114

Fall 2019
Lisa Blas, Artist
Wednesday October 2, 2019 // 6:30 pm // Smith 114

Kaywin Feldman, Director, NGA
Wednesday November 20, 2019 // 6:30 pm // Smith 114


Paolo Giardelli, Art Historian
Thursday April 4, 2019 // 6:30 pm // Smith 114

Robin Bell, Visual Artist
Wednesday January 27, 2019 // 6:30 pm // Smith 114

Douglas Fordham, Art Historian
Wednesday January 30, 2019 // 6:30 pm // Smith 114

Dr. Miguel de Baca, Modern & Contemporary American Art
Wednesday November 7, 2018 // 6:30 pm // Smith 114

Dr. Barbara Mundy, Latin American Art
Wednesday October 3, 2018 // 6:30 pm // Smith 114

Holly Bass, Performance Artist
Wednesday September 12, 2018 // 6:30 pm // Smith 114


Mark Wagner, September 14, 2017
GW/Textile Museum - 6:15 pm

Sam Cannon, October 4, 2017
Smith Hall of Art, Room 114 - 6:30 pm

Dr. Christopher Heuer, November 15, 2017
Smith Hall of Art, Room 114 - 6:30 pm

Gregg Deal, January 31, 2018
Smith Hall of Art, Room 114 - 6:00 pm

Dr. Prita Meier, February 28, 2018
Smith Hall of Art, Room 114 - 6:00 pm

Dr. Simon Rettig, April 12, 2018
Smith Hall of Art, Room 114 - 6:00 pm


Mary Garrard, September 28, 2016
The Cloister and the Square: Gender Dynamics in Renaissance Florence - Smith 114

Alexander Nagel, October 27, 2016
Early Motion in European Art around 1500 - Smith 114

Gloria Groom, November 9, 2016
The Art of Exhibitions - Smith 114

Army Artist Martin Cervantez, February 1, 2017
Textile Museum Auditorium

Dr. Robert DeCaroli, February 22, 2017
Textile Museum Auditorium

Dr. William Ferris, April 6, 2017
Smith 114


Carmenita Higginbotham, October 14, 2015
"Girl Watching" & the problem of Race in the art of Reginal March

Shahzia Sikander, November 11, 2015
Visiting Artist

Lynne Cooke, December 2, 2015
"Beyond the Bounds?"

Anna Gaskell, January 27, 2016
Visiting Artist

Angela Miller, February 10, 2016
New York Figurative Painting and Staged Photography in the 1940s and 1950s: The Aesthetics of Immobility

Hillary Chute, April 27, 2016
Hiroshima and Auschwitz: The Postwar Comics Field and Documentary Form


Asen Kirin, September 17, 2014

The Guiding Gaze of the Enlightened Empress: The Architecture of Lookout Spaces

Farar Elliott, October 15, 2014
How to Solve a Curatorial Mystery

Christina Stahr Hunter, November 5, 2014
Data Mining and the Visual Arts: Nancy Graves’ Concept of Representation

Shelley Sturman, January 21, 2015
Preserving Artists' Intent: The Challenge of conserving Contemporary Art

Robert Nelson, February 4, 2015
From Ritual Book to State Relic: A Cultural Biography of a Greek Illuminated Manuscript in Florence

Susan Siegfried, March 25, 2015
Fashion, Art and Gender in Post-Revolutionary France


Rebecca Stone, September 25, 2013
Reciprocity, Revelation, and Rule-Breaking: Indigenous Language and Ancient Andean Art

Gregory Thielker and Noah Coburn, October 23, 2013
(Un)Governed Spaces: Creating a Complex Portrait of Afghanistan Today

Michael Fried, November 7, 2013
Orientation in Painting: Caspar David Friedrich

Derrick Adams, January 31, 5:15 pm
Visiting Artist

Marden Nichols, February 5, 6:15 pm
Vitruvius on Painting: A Scholar’s Lecture on Vitruvius’ De architectura and Roman Wall Painting

Vesna Pavlovic, March 5, 6:15 pm
Visiting Artist