Ellen Larson


Ellen Larson is a Center for the Art of East Asia (CAEA) Postdoctoral Instructor in conjunction with the Department of Art History. Her research underscores the nature of temporalities as represented in moving image art made primarily in Mainland China. She is particularly interested in revealing how contemporary artists capture facets of accelerated time all the while living in a culture where physical environments and social connections are becoming increasingly obsolete due to major investments in robotics, AI technologies, online communication platforms, and virtual monetary exchange applications. Ellen’s research is also informed by urban studies, Asian futurisms, memory studies, and cyberfeminism studies. Her methodological approach to the study of art history incorporates curation and design as critical forms of applied practice. 

Before joining UChicago, she earned her PhD in art history from the University of Pittsburgh. Her doctoral dissertation, “On Time: Contemporary Chinese Video Art from China,” focused on emerging video and new media art since the turn of the new millennium. Her research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Henry Luce Foundation, and the Dunhuang Foundation. She also holds a master’s degree in modern Chinese history from Minzu University of China (Beijing), where she completed all coursework in Chinese.


“Spectral Time in China’s Industrial North: Wang Mowen’s ‘Trinity’ as a Case Study,” Arts Journal (2023 [forthcoming])


“The Future is but a dream: Liu Yujia’s Silk Road Oasis,” in Barbara London, ed., Millennium Journal (Fall/Winter 2022)


“Planetary Futures,” in WAI Think Tank, ed., The Planetary Wretched: Post-Colonial Narrative Architecture (Urbana-Champaign: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Loudreaders, 2021)


“Cao Fei’s Nostalgia for the Future,” Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, no. 7, vol. 2 (2020)


“Counter-mapping as Display: Unfolding, Revealing, and Concealing Intermediary Spaces,” Hemisphere: Visual Cultures of the Americas, no 13, vol. 1 (2020)


“The Map and the Territory,” co-authored with Emi Finkelstein, in Ingrid Schaeffner, ed. Carnegie International, 57th Edition: The Dispatch (Pittsburgh: Carnegie Museum of Art, 2019)



Ephemeral Architectures: early time-based media from China, University of Chicago, Chicago (2023)

Future Tense: A Screenshot Microcinema Event, Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh (2022)

Materializing Memory: Contemporary Video Art from China, University Art Gallery, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh (2019)

Dance Aria: Ju Anqi Solo Exhibition, Being 3 Gallery, Beijing (2017)

Intermediary: Video Art from China, UW-Stevens Point, Stevens Point, WI (2017)

Chinese Apartment Art: Materials from the Gao Minglu Archive, (co-curated) University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh (2016)


Andrei Pop
Andrei Pop
Modern Art and Aesthetics
Department Chair
CWAC 162 | Tuesdays 1-2pm or by appointment.
Niall Atkinson
Niall Atkinson
Medieval and Renaissance Architecture and Urban History
CWAC 260
Wei-Cheng Lin
Wei-Cheng Lin
Chinese Art and Architecture
Architectural Studies Advisor
CWAC 268 | Office Hours: Wednesdays 9-10am and 12-1pm
Iowa State University
Assistant Professor, East Asian Art and Architecture
Potters Wheel
Richard Neer
Ancient Greek Art and Architecture
CWAC 259
Megan Sullivan
Megan Sullivan
Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art
CWAC 272