Leslie Wilson’s scholarship mines the connections between photographic technologies, visual form, and political activism. International in scope, her research focuses on the global history of photography, modern and contemporary arts of Africa and the African diaspora, and modern and contemporary American art. Her current book project charts the development and popularization of color photography in South Africa, from its inception in the early twentieth century to contemporary practice. The first critical history of color photography in South Africa, the book will address intersections of reportage, documentary practice, and art; the relationship between art and political transformation in Africa in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries; and shifting approaches to color photography and the landscape.
She is on leave from her position as Assistant Professor of Art History at Purchase College, SUNY where she also teaches courses in museum and curatorial studies. She has held curatorial internships at the Art Institute of Chicago, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, and the St. Louis Art Museum and contributed book reviews to African Arts and caa.reviews. From 2015 to 2017, she held a predoctoral fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts. She received a PhD in Art History from the University of Chicago and holds a BA in International Relations from Wellesley College.