UCHRI Welcomes Aaron Katzeman, Graduate Student Researcher

I am a PhD Candidate in Visual Studies at UC Irvine researching contemporary art and film produced alongside resistance to military occupation, social movements for agrarian reform, and anti-colonial national liberation struggles. In my dissertation, “Aloha ‘Āina as Medium: Land, Art, and Sovereignty in Post-Statehood Hawai‘i,” I trace a counter-institutional lineage of visual culture advancing Hawaiian self-determination from the 1960s into the speculative future. My work has been supported through a predoctoral Landhaus Fellowship at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society and a dissertation grant from UCHRI. I received a BA in Art History and a Certificate in Environmental Studies from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

I have recently joined UCHRI to work on the Wildland-Urban Interface Climate Action Network (WUICAN). My efforts will be informed by my involvement growing and building infrastructure for the environmental humanities at UC Irvine through the Climate Futures Collective and my experiences as a Humanities Out There Public Fellow with Orange County Environmental Justice. I also currently serve as an advisory board member and graduate coordinator of the UCI Environmental Humanities Research Center, which hosts and sponsors an array of events.

In addition to my academic work, I am Assistant Curator of Transformative Currents: Art and Action in the Pacific Ocean for the 2024 Getty PST ART: Art & Science Collide program. The exhibition features over twenty artists and collectives throughout the Pacific—from the coastal Americas, Oceania, Australia, and South/East Asia—whose socially engaged practices address historical and ongoing ecological calamities in the ocean wrought by colonialism, militarism, and extractivism. In my free time, I enjoy watching soccer and trail running.