Lisa Claypool 祁珊立

Associate Professor, History of Art, Design, and Visual Culture 
Coordinator, History of Art, Design, and Visual Culture

Office: 3-89B Fine Arts Building
(780) 248-1758

Areas of Teaching and Research

Lisa Claypool 祁珊立 (Ph.D. Stanford University) is an associate professor of Chinese art and design histories. She focuses on modern and contemporary China with close attention to things that are visual yet mostly not visible –– in their materiality, like glass windows or palely printed lithographs, or because they are more simply overlooked in art and design historical literature. In recent years she has written about ink paintings of a coal mine in northeastern China, contemporary artworks by women working inside the “feminist gap,” oil paintings of city windows, habitat diorama screens, and a hanging scroll depicting kitchen trash. Currently she is working on a project about decolonizing time. Much of her work is about the ethics of vision; despite their seeming invisibility, the pictures and designs she writes about possess the power to shape how we see our world, and often, they do so eco-critically. In that vein, her second research focus is on modern designers’ and artists’ scientific practices of seeing.

Lisa Claypool is the author of Design and Science in Modern China (Routledge 2024), chief curator, editor and contributing writer to ecoArt China (see the catalogue and online exhibition at, and has published articles in positions: east asia cultures critique, the Oxford Art Journal, and the Journal of Asian Studies, among others. She is the author of the popular blog Staring at the Ceiling.

She is happy to supervise graduate students interested in histories of modern art and art now in China with a focus on intra-cultural visualities, on science, technology, and craft design, and on radical histories of brush-and-ink painting.

Lisa Claypool at the Fu Baoshi Memorial Hall in Nanjing 南京傅抱石纪念馆


MA University of Chicago, 1990; MA University of Oregon, 1994; PhD Stanford University, 2001.

To learn more about Lisa Claypool's research and about arts in imperial, modern, and contemporary China, visit

View curriculum vitae.