Skip to main content

Artist in Residence Program

The Kaplan Humanities Institute is proud to recognize and financially support working artists across the visual, performing, and literary arts. See bottom of this page for more details about the program. 


Winter 2023

Sarah Kanouse

In residence February 6-10, 2023

Kanouse's residency is co-sponsored by the Department of Art History and the Kaplan Humanities Institute.

Residency Highlights:


(Sarah Kanouse, still from My Electric Genealogy.)



My Electric Genealogy is a 75-minute, auto-ethnographic lecture-performance that weaves together live narration, choreographed movement, documentary video, and sound to address the climate justice ramifications of the electrical grid my grandfather helped to design and build.

For nearly forty years, Ed Kanouse designed, planned, and supervised the spider-vein network of lines connecting Los Angeles to its distant sources of electric power. He made a second family of the grid and its substations, converter stations, and interties, photographing these monuments of the modern everyday with one foot in the aesthetic and another in the techno-scientific sublime. When he died, he left behind boxes of snapshots that mixed birthday parties and family Christmases with portraits of power plants and transmission towers. Years later, I learned his legacy also included some of the most polluting fossil fuel infrastructure in the country—mostly located on Navajo land. Both aesthetically and politically, then, his vision of progress was rooted in modernist models of extraction, centralization, and consumption that are both highly racialized and gendered. Any just transition to a post-carbon society demands not only an overhaul of the electric grid but also the underlying values and assumptions that produced it. Taking up Donna Haraway’s call to “make oddkin,” My Electric Genealogy proceeds from an imaginative re-reading of my family tree, refiguring as relations both the electrical infrastructure of Los Angeles and the desert ecologies, organisms, and human histories it connects. Weaving together episodes of my grandfather’s life, anxious fantasies about my child’s climate-challenged future, and stories of resistance and resilience from the front lines of centuries of extractivism, My Electric Genealogy is an essayistic, auto-ethnographic working-through of this personal and collective inheritance.

View work-in-progress at


Fall 2022 - Visiting artist

Doreen Baingana

Visiting Artist, November 2022

Co-presented by the Program of African Studies, the Creative Writing Program, and the Kaplan Humanities Institute.


(Doreen Baingana photo by Jérémy Baron)

Doreen Baingana is a Ugandan writer whose short story collection, Tropical Fish, won a Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction and a Commonwealth Prize. Her other awards include three nominations for the Caine Prize; a Miles Morland Scholarship; a Rockefeller Bellagio Residency; a Sustainable Arts Foundation grant; a Tebere Arts Foundation Playwright’s Residency, and a Gretchen J. Bryant Freedom to Write Distinguished Fellowship. She has also published two children’s books as well as stories and essays in many journals including Agni, Callaloo, Chelsea, Glimmer Train, The Guardian, UK, Caravan: A Journal of Politics and Culture (India), Chimurenga, Kwani?, Ibua, Evergreen Review, Transition, and The Georgia Review. She is about to complete a novel-in-progress, Tongues of Fire, based on the life of a charismatic female rebel leader, Alice Lakwena. Baingana has adapted her stories for the stage that have been performed in Uganda and Germany. She has an MFA from the University of Maryland, College Park and worked at Voice of America radio for ten years before she became managing editor at Storymoja Africa, a Kenyan press, and later chairperson of FEMRITE, the Uganda Women Writers Association. Based in Entebbe, she has taught creative writing across Africa for two decades.


About the Artist in ResidencE Program

The Kaplan Institute's Artist in Residence Program brings internationally acclaimed artists to campus for quarter-long residencies. The program seeks to facilitate production of new work and to provide insight into the process of conceptualizing and producing creative work.

Since 2008, the Kaplan Institute has hosted more than 30 innovative and award-winning artists working in diverse media. The Institute situates the artist within a scholarly interdisciplinary community where they share their practice with the broader Northwestern community through screenings, exhibitions, lectures, concerts, readings, or performances.

A department or program at Northwestern must nominate and cosponsor an artist for residency. The program provides a stipend, production budget, and housing, and artists are expected to have substantial interaction with students over the course of the residency, through teaching appointments, short-term seminars, and open studios, and public events. (Click here for the Artist in Residence application page.)

In the past, the Kaplan Institute has collaborated with the departments of Art Theory and Practice, Art History, History, Latina/o Studies, Radio/Television/Film, Asian American Studies, the Segal Institute, Global Humanities Initiative, Global Languages Initiative, Residential Colleges, the Block Museum of Art, and the Northwestern Libraries.

Back to top