Kelly Dennis is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Connecticut-Storrs where she is also the Art History Coordinator. She received her Ph.D. in Art History from UCLA and her B.A. in English literature from Occidental College. She has taught at the University of California-Santa Cruz, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Northwestern University, and the Université de Toulouse-Jean Jaurès. At UConn, she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in visual culture, history of photography and digital art, and modern and contemporary art histories.
Her research focuses on the histories of visual communications technologies as they impact the production and consumption of images. Her recent and ongoing research focuses on photography as a site for the negotiation and regulation of sensory response to visual imagery and related distinctions between high art and mass culture. Her first book, Art/Porn: A History of Seeing and Touching (Berg, 2009), critically analyzes—from Plato to the Internet—the rhetoric of taste and the senses as they relate to class distinctions surrounding reception of the nude. Her current book project, Desert Exposures: Aesthetics and Politics in Postwar Arizona Highways and the West, focuses on the impact of photography’s dual role in post-WWII western promotion and in a regional aesthetics of landscape photography.