Denmead, T. (2020) Forget This Commentary Too: Cultivating an Antipossessive, Nonessentialist, and Anti-Edgy Approach to Art Education Scholarship, Studies in Art Education, 61:4, 349-355, DOI: 10.1080/00393541.2020.1820839.

In 2009, Mary Hafeli theorized our field’s “lack of regard for antecedents in art education scholarship” (p. 370). 1 She explained this phenomenon through three factors: the nausea of information flow, disciplinary fragmentation, and the desire to be hypercurrent (Hafeli, 2009). 2 Her analysis interested me after reviewing for Studies during the past year. Reviewers have encouraged authors, who are often in their early careers, to engage with scholarly conversations in art education from the distant to more recent past. This repetition suggested that “institutional amnesia” (p. 375) still characterizes our scholarship. Here, I analyze how market dynamics and politics of knowledge condition this amnesia, and why I am shifting my graduate teaching to cultivate scholars who are antipossessive, nonessentialist, and anti-edgy. The pre-publication proof can be read here.


Denmead, T. (2019). White warnings. Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education36(1), 108–124.

How white scholars engage in anti-racist scholarship is a paramount concern for the field of art education. But there is a double bind facing white art education scholars engaged in qualitative research. Reflexivity is a hallmark of trustworthy qualitative research yet being reflexive necessarily entails white people discussing their own entanglements in racism. Ironically, this reflexivity re-centers whiteness and reinvests whiteness by showing that it is capable of seeing itself for what it is. In this paper, I use an example from my own research that illuminates this double bind. To work this double bind, I propose that white art education scholars with anti-racist commitments must run towards white warnings, or cues that their praxis might threaten their social and institutional standing, as well as whiteness itself. This article is open-source.; please click link above to read.

Denmead, T. (2019), The Rise of the Creative Underclass. Educational Theory, 69: 225-240.

In this article, Tyler Denmead draws upon critical race theory to argue that the creative city discourse reproduces racial injustice for youth. In particular, the creative city invests in the property rights and profitability of whiteness by inscribing creative superiority on the bodies of young people who are more likely to be privileged by virtue of their race and class. Through evidence collected by both autoethnographic and ethnographic methods, Denmead discusses how his history as an arts educator has been entangled in the manifestation of this racist reconfiguration of urban space in one particular American city, Providence, Rhode Island. He discovered that the racial dynamics of the creative city discourse have productive power over how young people construct their identities and make life choices in this city and, further, that those dynamics operate in and through artist partnerships between those positioned as creatives and those positioned as troubled youth. As a result, Denmead argues that white arts educators, in particular, must disinvest themselves from notions of creativity that enhance the profitability and power of whiteness. This move requires advocating ceding land and resources that have been acquired through the creative city discourse and committing to reframing culture‐led urban renewal in terms of the economic and creative flourishing of communities of color. The pre-publication proof can be read here.

Denmead. T. (2019) Tier two worker remote office: Resisting the marketization of higher education, Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, 16:1, 6-34, DOI: 10.1080/15505170.2018.1500325.

In this paper, I present Tier Two Worker Remote Office, a performance artwork that I produced on March 15-16, 2018 at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. For this performance, I set up an outdoor office between the building where I work and the picket line where I had been striking for three weeks. I worked outside in this “Remote Office” for two days while my colleagues continued to strike nearby. I created this performance because I, along with thousands of other workers involved in the strike, risked deportation if we continued to strike. Influenced by the artistic performances of American artist and education scholar, Jorge Lucero, Tier Two Worker Remote Office demonstrates how the university itself is a historical invention, always open to being reshaped. Tier Two Worker Remote Officeillustrates how the arts can move academics beyond bemoaning the marketization of public higher education and serve as a useful tool in shaping our understanding that the marketized university is not inevitable, therefore can be resisted and changed. The pre-publication proof can be read here.


Denmead, T. (2018) On the Concept of Youth in Art Education: A Review of the Literature,Studies in Art Education, 59:1, 55-67, DOI: 10.1080/00393541.2017.1401866

In this article, I analyze how the concept of youth is used in art education scholarship. I review papers from three art education journals that use youth in their titles and/or abstracts. I analyze how the concept of youth frames, produces, and buttresses arguments about the role of art education in society and the need for particular approaches to curriculum and instruction. My literature review is organized around four themes: Youth as (1) transition, (2) culture, (3) difference, and (4) image. In presenting these four themes, my aim is to support art education researchers as they extend, refine, clarify, and deepen their analysis in ways that have positive concrete effects on young people through art education. The pre-publication proof can be read here.


Winkler, H., & Denmead, T. (2016). The future of homegrown teaching artists? Negotiating contradictions of professionalization in the youth arts and humanities fields. International Journal of Education and the Arts, 17 1-16.

Youth arts and humanities programs are providing invaluable learning opportunities for youth participants to become what we term “homegrown teaching artists.” After several years of artistic and pedagogic development, these alumni teach youth in the same programs where they were once participants. This phenomenon has emerged at the same time that the teaching artist field has become professionalized with new credentialed pathways through higher education. This simultaneity presents a paradox. Professionalization introduces formal standards and barriers to entry into the teaching artist field at the same time that teaching artists train youth who are racialized and low-income to become teaching artists through informal pathways in youth arts and humanities programs. In other words, the professionalization of the field is at odds with its aspiration to expand and sustain youth’s right to cultural self-determination. We address this contradiction by investigating the pathways and practices of three homegrown teaching artists before turning to implications for policy and practice. The article can be read here.