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Professor, Department of Africana Studies and Department of Art & Design, University of Delaware

Colette Gaiter is a Professor in the Departments of Africana Studies and Art & Design at the University of Delaware. After working as a graphic designer in New York City, she became an educator, artist, and writer. Her visual work, exhibited internationally, ranges from digital prints and artist books to websites and interactive installations.

Since 2005, she has written about former Black Panther artist Emory Douglas’s work, including his current international human rights artist activism. Her essays on his work appear in Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas (for which she wrote a new introduction to the 2014 edition), West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977, Global Maoism, and the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and other publications. The 2022 book The Black Experience in Design includes her introduction with Emory Douglas and an essay on evolving visual literacy. The Norman Rockwell museum’s catalog Imprinted: Illustrating Race contains her essay on the illustrators of the Black Panther newspaper. After numerous trips to Cuba before the global pandemic, she wrote about Afro-Cuban art, design, and culture—especially relating to issues of race. Her visual work and writing investigate creative activism. Her teaching focuses on the ways that popular culture influences social change.

Experience

  • –present
    Associate Professor, Art and Social Change, University of Delaware

Education

  • 1999 
    Hamline University, St. Paul MN, Master of Arts in Liberal Studies