PNCA Welcomes Shawna Lipton as New MA in Critical Studies Chair

May 19, 2017


May 19, 2017

Contact: Lisa Radon,

Pacific Northwest College of Art Welcomes Shawna Lipton as New MA in Critical Studies Chair

Portland, OR—May 19, 2017—Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) is delighted to welcome Shawna Lipton as Chair of the MA in Critical Studies program. Lipton holds a Ph.D. in English from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her dissertation, “Queer Literary Criticism and the Biographical Fallacy,” engaged queer theory, modernist studies, and author theory. Lipton takes the helm July 15, 2017.

“Shawna impressed the Search Committee with her dynamic vision for the future of the program and its presence in the world," says Kate Copeland, Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs. "She brings a strong background in critical studies and a pointed emphasis on broader emancipatory projects including gender studies and queer theory."

Lipton holds a Ph.D. in English from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and an M.A. in English from Portland State University. She has presented papers at conferences ranging from the Modern Languages Association to the Modernist Studies Association, as well as national and international university symposia. "Returning to The Well: Radclyffe Hall and the Marketing of Lesbian Pulp Fiction," a collaboration with Dr. Ann Martin of the University of Saskatchewan based on research in the Neil Richards Collection of Gender and Sexual Diversity, adds a cultural and historical lens to Queer Studies. Lipton’s scholarly writing has been published in New Cinemas and QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking. Her most recent article, "Girls Like Us: Transgender Girlhood in the Memoirs of Janet Mock and Jazz Jennings," will be published in Girlhood Studies next year. 

"A Critical Studies program in an art school setting is very unique,” says President Don Tuski. “It provides students with the opportunity for not only critique but an opportunity to create and make change."

Lipton’s appointment coincides with the announcement that the Critical Studies program now offers a three year MA/MFA option in partnership with programs in PNCA’s Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies including MFA in Visual Studies, MFA in Print Media, and MFA in Collaborative Design.

For questions concerning the program, contact Interim Chair, MK Guth,

About the MA in Critical Studies program
The MA in Critical Studies claims critical theory as a creative project of analysis and exposure radically interested in accountability and the material effects of ideas. The two-year program combines the study of critical theory with engaged research so that students are readied not only to critique but also to intervene, reimagine, and remake. The program is designed to help students develop modes of thinking, writing, and making that cross disciplinary boundaries. More information.

About Pacific Northwest College of Art
Pacific Northwest College of Art empowers artists and designers to reimagine what art and design can do in the world. Founded in 1909 as the Museum Art School in Portland, Oregon, PNCA offers ten art and design Bachelor of Fine Art programs, six graduate programs including Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts programs within the Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies, a Post-Baccalaureate program, and Continuing Education courses for artists and designers of all ages.