California College of the Arts appoints Jacqueline Francis as dean of Humanities and Sciences

Former chair of Graduate Visual and Critical Studies and professor of History of Art and Visual Culture program began new role in January 2024

Portrait of Jacqueline Francis.

Portrait of Jacqueline Francis.

San Francisco, CA — Tuesday, February 6, 2024 — California College of the Arts is pleased to announce Jacqueline Francis as its new dean of Humanities and Sciences. Francis, who began her role as dean on January 8, 2024, was previously chair of Graduate Visual and Critical Studies and professor of the History of Art and Visual Culture program at CCA. She also served as vice president of the Faculty Senate, providing recommendations to the CCA president and provost. In 2022, Francis earned tenure and was promoted to professor. In her role as dean of Humanities and Sciences, Francis will oversee the division’s 10 programs and its collegewide curriculum in which all students participate.

“I am honored and excited to take on the role as dean of Humanities and Sciences at CCA. It is a privilege to guide the division’s programs and contribute to its continued excellence,” says Francis. “I enjoy the scholarly and creative exchanges across the college, where faculty and staff are dedicated to critical thinking and making, enriching the educational experience of students.”

Francis is an art historian, curator, and creative writer researching and writing modern and contemporary US art histories. Her special area of interest is the construction of past and present racialized identities and identifications within the critical framework of social art history. Francis received an AB in English Literature from Dartmouth College, a MA in African-American Studies from University of Wisconsin, and a PhD in the History of Art from Emory University.

Francis is the author of Making Race: Modernism and “Racial Art” in America (2012), the first book-length study of interwar expressionist American painting, scrutinized through the lens of critical race art history. She has edited and co-edited several books dedicated to the works and influence of historical and contemporary artists: Adia Millett (2020 and 2023); Romare Bearden: American Modernists (2011); Lorraine O’Grady: Is Now the Time for Joyous Rage? (2023); and Sargent Claude Johnson (2024). In addition, she has published essays in numerous exhibition catalogs, peer-reviewed journals, and reference texts. Francis has presented her research at museums, conferences, colleges, and universities in North America, Europe, and Asia. She also served as a visiting professor at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art and San Francisco State University.

From 2017 to 2023, Francis led as the president of the Queer Cultural Center of San Francisco. She is currently a member of the 3.9 Art Collective, a group of Black creatives dedicated to increasing the visibility of the city's Black artists, writers, and arts professionals. Francis received a 2017-18 Individual Artist Commission from the San Francisco Arts Commission for her work on a collection of short stories. In 2023, Francis was named to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts “100” for her impactful activism and leadership in the San Francisco arts and culture scene.

Francis actively contributes to the field of art history and visual cultural studies by serving on the boards of research projects, scholarly publications, and key organizations, including The Living New Deal at University of California Berkeley, Third Text: Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Art and Culture (London, UK), the College Art Association, the US Latinx Art Forum, and the National Committee for the History of Art, which is the US delegation to the Comité International d’Histoire de l’Art.

TT Takemoto, the outgoing dean of Humanities and Sciences at CCA, will transition from their role to serve as the director of Faculty Development and DEIB Initiatives. This role will support Academic Affairs work related to faculty promotion and faculty development projects. In collaboration with Academic Affairs and the Office of DEIB, Takemoto will also work on advancing DEIB engagement for all faculty and focus on BIPOC faculty professional development.

Media Contact

Donna Zeng

Communications Associate

+1 925-305-7251

[email protected]