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CHARLOTTE KENT, PhD is the Assistant Professor of Visual Culture and Program Director for Art History at Montclair State University. Her work focuses on how various linguistic and visual rhetorical devices constrain what we are capable of seeing; whether examining art criticism, museum wall text, ekphrastic poetry, data visualizations or social media posts, her work questions why some things are so easily ignored. Her current research builds on that foundation to investigate the cultural context contributing to the rise of the absurd in contemporary art and speculative design. 

She has published in numerous journals including Word and Image, Journal of Visual CultureHarvard Design Magazine, and Interdisciplinary Humanities, among others,. She has also contributed chapters to several essay collections on topics such as the surrealist painter Leonora Carrington’s descent into madness during World War II, John Berger’s book Ways of Seeing, and the slogan “If you see something, say something” propagated by Homeland Security for the United States of America. She writes a monthly column on the Business of Art for Artists’ Magazine and contributes to assorted general audience media sites. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the National Arts Club in New York City, where she oversees the Artist and Affiliate Fellowship and collaborates with other organizations to produce panel discussions and events on key issues in contemporary art.

Prior to academia, Kent worked with artists in Santa Fe, New Mexico where she was also the interim director of the Andreeva Portrait Academy. Returning to New York City in 2006, she became the managing director of a company focused on eyecare and founded the continuing medical education division, Candeo Clinical Science Communications. Since 2009, she works with artists and professionals as a concept support specialist, coaching individuals through their creative process and guiding them through public presentations, to include activities ranging from staged conversations to interviews to grant application statements. 


Studios taught:

Visual Lies

In a world where so much information is misleading, this course looks at how images can lie to us. Examining art, advertising, and other visual situations, students will learn how we understand and interpret what we see. In the face of an image, viewers actively participate in creating its meaning. We will question our belief in the documentary and witnessing nature of photography; explore how the meaning of an image changes when it moves from one place to another; and will examine how images reference other images and the way we use texts to enhance and alter our understanding of them.