BA, Bryn Mawr College; MA, Ph.D., University of Chicago
Rebecca J. DeRoo is Associate Professor and Visual Culture Program Director in the School of Communication at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Her research and teaching focus on contemporary art and visual culture, cinema, photography, museum studies, and gender studies. She is currently researching the art and activism of Mary Kelly in her third monograph (in progress) with the support of an Advance RIT Grant, RIT Seed Funding, and an American Philosophical Society Franklin Research Grant.
Dr. DeRoo’s second book examines the work of multimedia artist Agnès Varda: Agnès Varda between Film, Photography, and Art (University of California Press, 2018; finalist for the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation Best Book Award in the field of Moving Image). Book research was supported by fellowships from the American Association of University Women, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, and the Paul A. and Francena L. Miller Fellowship. Her recent essays appear in the anthologies: Plaisirs de Femmes and On Women’s Films.
In 2021, Professor DeRoo coedited with Professor Homay King a thematic issue of Camera Obscura, Future Varda. In the wake of director Agnès Varda’s death in 2019, this journal issue brings together scholars across fields and generations, analyzing under-acknowledged aspects of her work and opening avenues for the future.
Professor DeRoo’s first book, The Museum Establishment and Contemporary Art (Cambridge: 2006, translated, reprinted 2014), explains how the protests and social movements of 1968 France triggered a radical reconsideration of artistic practice that has shaped both art and museums up to the present. Her book was awarded the 2007 Laurence Wylie Prize for best book in the field of French Cultural Studies. She has contributed to publications including The Oxford Art Journal, Parallax, Studies in French Cinema, Afterimage, and Modern and Contemporary France.
Dr. DeRoo was Community Curator for the major exhibition: Changemakers: Rochester Women Who Changed the World, held at the Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) from November 2020 to May 2021. The exhibition celebrated the suffrage centennial and highlighted regional women’s contributions to social change. Her students’ work was presented in the exhibition, including the digital Map of Change, which is available on the museum website.
Professor DeRoo curated the exhibition Beyond The Photographic Frame at the Art Institute of Chicago, for which she received a Rhoades Foundation Fellowship; curated Made in France: Art from 1945 to the Present at the Washington University Art Museum; and co-curated with Jurij Meden a retrospective, Agnès Varda: (Self-)Portraits, Facts and Fiction, at the Dryden Theatre, George Eastman Museum (2016). She was an affiliated member of the UK AHRC grant-supported international research network “Film and the Other Arts.” Her grants include Fulbright and Killam Fellowships and a research residency at the French National Institute for Art History (INHA).
At Rochester Institute of Technology, Dr. DeRoo teaches courses on Contemporary Art and Visual Culture, History and Theory of Exhibitions, Exhibition Design, Research Methods, and Gender Studies. She is Visual Culture Program Director, Core Faculty in the Museum Studies Program, and affiliated faculty in the Digital Humanities and Social Sciences Program, and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program.
In the News
November 9, 2022
RIT’s College of Liberal Arts receives grant to enhance philosophy and communication offerings
RIT’s College of Liberal Arts plans to introduce new and revamped philosophy and communication curricula to help students across the university enhance their expressive and analytic communication skills. This was made possible by a $350,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and The Teagle Foundation.
November 6, 2020
Rochester Museum & Science Center exhibit includes content developed by RIT alumni
RIT alumni contributed to a major exhibition at the Rochester Museum & Science Center highlighting Rochester and Haudenosaunee women who pushed for social change. “The Changemakers: Rochester Women Who Changed the World” opens Nov. 20.
October 17, 2023
DeRoo presents at Feminist Art History Conference
October 21, 2022
DeRoo receives American Philosophical Society grant
February 8, 2022
DeRoo to present opening lecture of film series
May 26, 2021
DeRoo co-edits journal