Jessica Womack is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Art and Archaeology and is pursuing graduate certificates in African American studies and Latin American studies. She studies modern and contemporary art of the Caribbean and Black Diaspora and focuses on nation-building, identity (re)formation, and space/spatialization. She is especially interested in African Diasporic religions and their iconography and visual culture in postcolonial and post-revolutionary contexts.
Womack's dissertation focuses on Jamaican art after independence in 1962 and examines the negotiations, partnerships, and tensions between artists, arts institutions, and government officials; her current research probes the politics and practices of exhibition and display in mid/late twentieth century Jamaica and the entanglements between tourism, the economy, the state, race, and art by artists from Jamaica and the broader Caribbean. Her work has been supported by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and the Social Sciences Research Council.
Womack received her A.B. in art history from Dartmouth College in 2014 where she was a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow and her M.A. from Princeton University in 2019. Before starting her graduate work, she held curatorial and programming positions at the Hood Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. Womack has participated in the Studio Museum in Harlem’s Museum Education Practicum (2020) and was selected as a 2021-2022 Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute Afro-Caribbean Art Curatorial Fellow. In 2021, she was also awarded a Princeton Graduate School Teaching Award. Womack’s writing appears in past and forthcoming publications from institutions such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Oolite Arts, American Federation of Arts, and the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center. Additionally, she currently serves as the project manager of the digital humanities research project Art Hx: Visual and Medical Legacies of British Colonialism as well as the co-founder/lead coordinator of the A&A Undergraduate Mentorship Program.