The Anti-Racism and Art History Bibliography


This bibliography has been prepared by the Graduate Union of Students Art at the University of Toronto to allow scholars to reflect on the state of the academy and the field of Art History. Our intent is for this bibliography to be used by scholars to expand and improve their citational footprint, to promote anti-racist scholarship, and to disrupt the replication of an oppressive and colonial art historical canon.

For those using this database for research or to build syllabi, the larger bibliography can be roughly searched and divided chronologically and geographically. The limitations that Western temporal and geographic boundaries impose is an issue that many of these sources seek to problematize. As such we have also built in the ability to filter readings thematically. We encourage feedback on the categorization of these lists.

This bibliography has been composed by members of the Graduate Union of Students of Art (GUStA) in collaboration with Art History faculty at the University of Toronto. As a student union, GUStA organizes academic events and produces resources for graduate students in the Department of Art History, and advocates on behalf of members to the Department and the University.

In response to the 2020 worldwide call for solidarity and action against anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism, GUStA has been working to develop a list of readings and resources to respond to the following questions: 

  • How do we confront the presence of colonial violence, white supremacy, and racism in famous artworks, art movements, and the practice of art history?
  • How do citational practices tie in to a decolonization project?
  • How do we reflect on and implement changes in our citational footprint?
  • How do we promote anti-racist scholarship?
  • How do we decentre Western perspectives in the canon?
  • How do we disrupt the replication of an art historical canon that is predominantly white and male?

This list of background readings and resources was collected to encourage current scholars and students of art history to reflect on the state of the academy and the field of art history in North America. The bibliography is viewed as active and living, and will be continually updated on Zotero. The zotero is designed to allow users to filter entries using metadata that in itself can gradually be used to problematize Eurocentric categories.

The GUStA bibliographic database draws from many existing bibliographies that seek to diversify Art Historical research. The GUStA bibliography aims to incorporate additional bibliography and index sites as entries in this database to acknowledge the important and collaborative work being done.

This project by the Graduate Union of Students of Art was made possible through funding from the Department of Art History, University of Toronto. Special thanks to all faculty and graduate students who have been involved with this project and who have reviewed and recommended entries.

GUStA greatly appreciates the work of Keith Cheng, Nicole Liao, and Kavita Singh, without whom this project would not be possible.


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