Meet Dr. David W. Norman! The 2023–24 Henry John Drewal Postdoctoral Fellow

This fall we welcome Dr. David W. Norman as the Henry John Drewal Postdoctoral Fellow! Dr. Norman will be with us for the 2023–24 school year, and during the current fall semester he is teaching ART HIST 303 “Introduction to Indigenous Art in North America.”
In addition to Dr. Norman’s message below, he also shared that he enjoys hiking, gardening, watching Drag Race, and reading and writing poetry.

Dr. Norman’s message to the UW–Madison community:
“My research focuses on the work of Kalaallit Inuit, Iivit, and Inughuit artists whose practices developed between the 1970s and 1990s, a period of heightened anticolonial activity in Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland). I am interested in how these artists, who were the first in their communities to explore media like body art and video, challenged forms of colonial representation through conceptual and formal methods that in some ways echoed activists’ efforts to disrupt established patterns of political representation. On a broader level, I am interested in thinking about how art has actively advanced political struggles, particularly Indigenous communities’ movements for self-determination—a concern that is also central to my teaching, and which I hope to impart to students.
Although most of my training has occurred at institutions in Scandinavia, Canada, and during visits to Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland) and Alaska, the upper Midwest holds a very special place for me. I grew up in Rockford and Chicago, IL, and my parents both studied at UW–Madison in the ‘70s. As a result, I’ve visited Wisconsin frequently ever since childhood and grew up hearing stories about UW’s history. Now after having spent the past two years teaching in the University of Michigan’s History of Art Department, I am thrilled to have this opportunity to deepen my roots in the Great Lakes region even further. I am so excited to connect with the Art History Department’s incredible faculty and students, and with the broader university community. Most of all, I greatly look forward to building local relationships in Dejope and to learning more about the history and present of these lands over the coming year.”

You can learn more about Dr. Norman’s work via his website at:

We hope everyone in our community will take advantage of Dr. Norman’s course offerings and presence this year!