Wendy Castenell

Assistant Professor of Art History
African American Art
(205) 348-1904
Office Location:
Garland 302
(205) 348-0287

Dr. Castenell joined the faculty in the fall of 2015. Prior to coming to the Capstone, she taught at Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama; University of Missouri, Columbia; and University of Massachusetts Amherst. Wendy Castenell, Assistant Professor of Art History, African American ArtShe teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in African American art. Her research focuses on African American art; portraiture; Gender Studies; representations of race and ethnicity in American visual culture; Film History and Theory; and cross-cultural contact. Her current project is a manuscript based on her dissertation entitled “Color Outside the Line: Liminality and Creole Identity in Louisiana, Colonial Era to Reconstruction,” which focuses on the forcible construction of racial and caste identities in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Louisiana. Using painted portraits of members of the community of free people of color, she argues that race in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Louisiana was ambiguous and flexible. There was a constant tension between public and private status, allowing people to move between and amongst castes.


Courses Taught

Fall 2015–African American Art and Special Topics in African American Art: The Black Arts Movement; Spring 2016–African American Art, Art of the African Diaspora, and Special Topics in African American Art: Topic TBD.


Publications and PresentationsDr. Wendy Castenell views Jackson Pollock's painting, "Number 1A, 1948" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

“Urban Development in New Orleans, World War II to Present,” in New Orleans Historic and Cultural Review, Vol. 1, No. 1 (Summer 2007): 55-6; and a book review of Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color by Patricia Phillips, Marshall and Jo Ramsey Leimenstoll, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 70:2 (2011): 260-261. Dr. Castenell’s recent presentations include “Iconography and Mercurial Racial Identity in Jacques Amans’ Creole Woman in a Red Turban (1840),” Nineteenth-Century Studies Association Conference in Chicago; “Hybridity, Creole Identity, and Portraits by Free Artists of Color in Antebellum New Orleans,” College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Symposium, Alabama State University in Montgomery; and “The Politics of Style: French Academic Style as a Statement of Creole Identity by New Orleans’ Free Artists of Color,” Nineteenth-Century Studies Association Annual Conference in Fresno, California.


Ph.D., University of Missouri–Columbia (2012)