Frances Cathryn is a writer and curator who combines archival research, media theory, and social design to recontextualize American cultural narratives.

For a copy of her current CV, PDFs of papers or talks, or for questions and collaborations, email Frances or follow her on social media. If you are interested in mentoring or editorial advice, please reach out.

instagram: @francescathryn
pronouns: she/her/hers

Photograph by GP Selvaggio

AREAS OF RESEARCH︎︎︎Collective memory and public history, digital humanities, media theory and criticism, United States imperialism, Indigenous epistemology and anti-colonial methodologies, histories of settlement and land privatization, Black visuality, architectural preservation, social design, American society and culture, monuments and memorials, cultural belongings and material redress, historiography, museums, and archives

EDUCATION︎︎︎M.A. (modern and contemporary English literature), University of Virginia
B.A. (literature and liberal studies), University of Wisconsin–Madison

ABOUT︎︎︎Frances writes cultural criticism on topics ranging from the myth of American exceptionalism to marginalized historical landscapes for such publications as Frieze, the Los Angeles Review of Books, ARTnews, the Brooklyn Rail, and Social Text journal. She has presented her work on memorial museums, Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Kang’s concept of refusing research, and coloniality in mass media at the Yale School of Art, MASS MoCA, NYU ITP, the Rhode Island School of Design, and Bard College, among others.

Frances has worked in media, history museums, and arts organizations for more than a decade. She currently manages editorial projects at Forge Project, a Native-led arts organization working to upend political and social systems formed through generations of settler colonialism, where she coordinates publications, advises writers-in-residence, authors a monthly newsletter, and leads its digital-first journal, Forging.

In her most recent curatorial project, In the Room at the Center for Photography at Woodstock in Kingston, Frances brought together three photo-based artists whose works exploit the medium of photography to challenge the ways we document and remember. Through the critical interventions by Kelly Kristin Jones, Jonathan Mark Jackson, and Ashley M. Freeby, we can better understand how photographs function as social objects, in Ariella Azoulay’s words, that perpetuate the power held by the people who made them.