Amy Zhang

Amy Zhang

Amy Zhang

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Museums, cultural institutions, cultural policy, globalization and art, art and political economy, critical theory, postcolonial theory, museum studies, art theory, art historiography, Arab States of the Persian Gulf

Amy Zhang is a PhD Candidate in Cultural Studies. She received an MA in Liberal Studies from The New School for Social Research and a BA in Philosophy and BFA in Art History from The University of Texas. Her dissertation asks: why are large-scale fine art museums sought by states in the Arabian Peninsula, and why is the legitimacy of these museums challenged? This project applies content and discourse analysis to western journalism and commentary about art museums in the Arabian Peninsula. Using these museums and their reception as cases, she explores the construction and maintenance of legitimacy in the contemporary fine art world and investigates the possibility of "globalization of art" with particular attention to shared dynamics experienced by relatively new and non-western actors and institutions in the global fine arts world.

Since joining the PhD program in Cultural Studies in 2014, she has taught courses in the School of Integrative Studies, Honors College, and in the Cultural Studies program.
Before coming to George Mason University, she was a fellow of the India-China Institute's India China Knowledge and Initiative Building Program where she undertook a collaborative ethnographic research project on the management of cultural heritage in the performing arts in Yunnan, China and West Bengal, India. 
Her dissertation research has been supported by the Office of the Provost Summer Research Fellowship, twice supported by the Interdisciplinary Curriculum Collaborative Award, and she has advanced her Arabic language training as a Davis Fellow at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.


The New School for Social Research, Liberal Studies, MA

The University of Texas at Austin, Art History, BFA; Philosophy, BA