Since 2009 she has served as CCA's faculty mentor to students of color. Trained as an art historian, her work focuses on modern and contemporary art with an emphasis on the expressions and theorizations of blackness.
Saggese's writing has appeared in Exposure: The Journal of the Society for Photographic Education and nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art. She has published work online for Artforum, CAA Reviews and The International Review of African-American Art. Her most recent essay, "Appropriation in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," appeared in the catalogue for the international exhibition, Ménage à Trois: Warhol, Basquiat, Clemente (Bonn: Kunst-und Austellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 2012). She has also recently completed her first book manuscript, Reading Jean-Michel Basquiat (forthcoming, University of California Press), which reexamines the painting practice of the often-mythologized 1980s art star Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Saggese's new research concerns the representation of the black male athletic body in American art of the twentieth century. In February 2013 she presented part of this research at the annual meeting of the College Art Association in New York City. Saggese's other research and teaching interests include performance, critical race art history, identity politics, postcolonial theory, African diaspora theory as well as the intersections between musical, visual, and literary practices.
Outside of CCA, Saggese also serves as coeditor of book reviews for the Association of Historians of American Art (AHAA), and is a member of the Committee on Diversity Practices for the College Art Association. Since 2008 she has also held a position on the curatorial committee for the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art.
For the 2012-13 academic year, Saggese will teach the following courses: "Introduction to the Modern Arts"; "Representation and the Other" (Visual Studies); "Identities" (Graduate Visual and Critical Studies); and "Senior Project 2" for Visual Studies majors.