Zitzewitz Appointed Interim Chair of AAHD

Karin Zitzewitz, Associate Professor of Art History and Visual Culture, has been appointed Interim Chair of the Department of Art, Art History, and Design (AAHD) for a two-year term, effective August 16, 2018-August 15, 2020. 

“I am excited to work more closely with my colleagues as we shape our wide-ranging department,” Zitzewitz said. “I look forward to representing AAHD in the College and University community, showing off the creative endeavors of our faculty and students.”

A specialist in the modern and contemporary art of India and Pakistan, Zitzewitz recently returned from an academic year at Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, sponsored by a Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers. She worked on a book on contemporary art after the liberalization of India’s economy, which will be among the first books on Indian and Pakistani contemporary art published by an academic press in the United States.

This will be Zitzewitz’s second book. Her first, The Art of Secularism: The Cultural Politics of Modernist Art in Contemporary India, was published in 2014. It is based on extensive fieldwork in three centers of the Indian art world – Mumbai, Vadodara (Gujarat), and New Delhi – and tracks the changes wrought by the rise of Hindu nationalism on the practices of four modernist artists and on the character of art world spaces. The manuscript was awarded the Edward C. Dimock Prize in the Humanities from the American Institute for Indian Studies. 

Dr. Zitzewitz is a dynamic leader who will advance art and design research and education at Michigan State University.


Zitzewitz’s research has had an impact on museums that are increasingly interested in expanding the modern and contemporary art they show beyond a canon dominated by Europe and the United States. She curated solo exhibitions by Pakistani artist Naiza Khan (Karachi Elegies, 2013) and Mithu Sen (Border Unseen, 2014) at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum.

Zitzewitz began working at Michigan State University in January 2009. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Columbia University in 2006. Before coming to MSU, she served as a Harper Fellow at the University of Chicago. 

As Interim Chair, Zitzewitz will provide leadership and serve as the chief representative for the Department of Art, Art History, and Design. She also will be responsible for educational, research, and service programs; budgetary matters; physical facilities; and personnel matters within the department.

“Dr. Zitzewitz is a dynamic leader who will advance art and design research and education at Michigan State University,” said Christopher P. Long, Dean of the College of Arts & Letters. “I am looking forward to working closely with her during this important period of change at the University and within the Department of Art, Art History, and Design as we situate the arts at the center of Michigan State’s academic mission.”