Dr James Small is an art historian, with a focus on the intersections of race, gender, and queer sexuality in the art and visual culture of the nineteenth century, as well as the art and visual culture of the black diaspora. He is the author of Homosexuality in Art (Parkstone Press, 2003) and The Homoerotic Photography of Carl Van Vechten: Public Face, Private Thoughts (Temple University Press, 2006). He has published essays in a number of prominent journals, including American Art, French Historical Studies, Third Text, Art Journal, and Art Criticism. His articles include: Slavery Is A Woman: Race, Gender, and Visuality in Marie Benoist's Portrait d'une Négresse (1800); Race As Spectacle in Late Nineteenth-Century French Art and Popular Culture; In Bed with Marat: (Un)Doing Masculinity, and African American Self-Portraiture: Repair, Reclamation, Redemption. Smalls has two book manuscripts in progress - Creating Homoutopia, and Géricault and the Color of Classicism.
In 2006, Smalls curated a two-part exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art on the art, career, and international influence of the African American artist, Henry Ossawa Tanner. In 2009-2010, he served as a Consulting Editor for the five-volume set of The Grove Encyclopedia of American Art