Dipti Desai

United States

Dipti Desai’s multidisciplinary research addresses the intersection between visual art, activism, and critical pedagogy. She has co-authored three books and published widely in the area of anti-racist art education, contemporary art as a critical pedagogical site, and artistic activism. Dipti is Professor of Art and Art Education and Co-Director of the Graduate Art + Education Programs at New York University, USA.

CoLab Projects

Mapping Artistic Activism


Creating Third Spaces of Learning for Post-Capitalism

In this book — Co-Authored by Dipti Desai — the authors’ post-capitalist approach to change focuses less on what we need to dismantle and more on what educators and activists are building in its place. Studying schools and other social organizations in the Global North and South, the authors identify and examine some of today’s most interesting counter-hegemonic spaces in formal and informal education.

Selected Works

  • Anderson, G. L., Desai, D., Heras A. I., Spreen, C.A. (2023). Creating Third Spaces of Learning for Post-Capitalism: Lessons from Educators, Artists, and Activists. New York and London: Routledge.
  • Bell, L., and Desai, D. (Eds.). (2014). Social Justice and the Arts. New York and London: Taylor and Francis
  • Desai, D. (2020). Educating for social change through art: A personal reckoning. Studies in Art Education, 61(1), 10-23.
  • Desai, D. (2019). Art and Activism: Moving between and beyond Aesthetic Objects to Organizing. In D. Garnet & A. Sinner (Eds.), Art, Culture, and Pedagogy: Revisiting the Work of Graeme Chalmers. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill Publishers.
  • Desai, D. (2018). Staging Protest as Art and Pedagogy. Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present Journal (ASAP/Journal), 3(2), 423-447.
  • Desai, D. & Finkelstein, A. (2017). NYU Flash Collective: An Art Intervention in the Public Sphere. In G. Sholette, C. Bass, & J. Kasper (Eds.), Art as Social Action: An Introduction to the Principles & Practices of Teaching Social Practice Art. New York: Allworth Press.
  • Desai, D. (2017). Artistic Activism in Dangerous Times: Teaching and Learning Against the Grain, Visual Inquiry: Learning and Teaching Art, 6(2), 135-144.
  • Desai, D. (2014). Read my lips: Talking with Gran Fury about artistic activism and pedagogy. Art & the Public Sphere, 3(2), 177-185.
  • Desai, D. (2010). Unframing Immigration: Looking through the educational space of contemporary art. Peabody Journal of Education, 85 (4), 425- 442.
  • Desai, D. (2009). Imagining justice in times of perpetual war: Notes for the classroom, Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, 6(2), 6-26.