Dr Cissie Fu


Dr Cissie Fu

Head, McNally School of Fine Arts
Cissie Fu
  • DPhil (Politics and International Relations), University of Oxford, UK
  • MSc (Political Research and Methodology), University of Oxford, UK
  • MSt (Women’s Studies, with distinction), University of Oxford, UK
  • AB (Government and Philosophy, cum laude), Harvard University, USA

Dr Cissie Fu is a political theorist and co-founder of the Political Arts Initiative which is interested in the ways in which people interact and compose political ideas and actions through technology and the arts.

Born in Hong Kong, Cissie studied, taught, curated and performed across cultural and educational institutions in Asia, Europe, the UK, and the Americas and most recently as Dean of the Faculty of Culture and Community at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Canada.

With a forthcoming open textbook on cultural production and the law, Cissie is currently completing a monograph on the politics of silence, which draws from artistic practices to resuscitate silence as a positive political concept. Cissie’s practice-led research interests in relational aesthetics and decolonial action, combined with her experiments in experiential and transformative organisational design, inform her approach to institution-building as a creative, critical and communal cultural practice.

Research and Practice

Publications (select)

  • Making Place/Making Art: Re-Imagining Art Education in Public Elementary Schools, co-authored with Maggie Milne Martens in Geneviève Cloutier et al. (eds.), Making: Place, Identity, Experiment in 21st-Century Art Education (InSEA Publications) (2020)
  • Less can be more: unfixing, unforming, unlearning, in Beatrix Ruf and John Slyce (eds.), Size Matters!: (De)Growth of the 21st Century Art Museum (Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König) (2017)

Keynotes (select)

  • The Transparency Trap: On Obscurity in Dark Times, keynote lecture, State of Transparency 50th Anniversary Symposium, Large Glass Department, Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam (2019)
  • To write is to rite is to right: imagining a responsive politics of non-reaction, keynote lecture, Imaginación Politica: Encuentro Internacional, Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City (2019)

Roundtables (select)

  • Seizing the Moment: Exploring Just and Sustainable Pandemic Recovery through Community-Campus Partnerships, British Columbia regional roundtable discussion, Community Campus Engage Canada, Regina (2021)
  • Powering the future: Understanding global paradigms, roundtable discussion, FICCI FRAMES-LEAP International Conference on Media Education, New Delhi (2020)

Workshops (select)

  • Liberating Structures: How to Unlearn Together through Pedagogies of Engagement, workshop for faculty and staff, Hear! Here! Research Platform for Critical Pedagogy, Gerrit Rietveld Academy + Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam (2021)
  • Decolonial School: (Re)building Art and Design Curriculum, panel workshop with California College of the Arts and California Institute of the Arts, Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design Annual Symposium, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles (2019)

Performances (select)

  • John Cage’s Lecture on Nothing, scored by Kay Larson and directed by Christopher Butterfield, Philip T. Young Recital Hall, University of Victoria (2019)
  • Tino Sehgal’s This progress, This is propaganda, This is critique, curated by Beatrix Ruf and Martijn van Nieuwenhuyzen qua A Year at the Stedelijk: Tino Sehgal, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2015)
Grants (select)
  • Co-applicant, Innoweave Grant for Social Research and Development (Transformative Storytelling for Social Justice), McConnell Foundation (CAD100,000) (2022)
  • Applicant, Co-op and Work-Integrated Learning Initiative Grant (Public Education for Anti-Racism: Artful Civic Action), British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training (CAD30,000) (2021)
  • Principal Investigator, Research Data Management Capacity Building Initiative Connection Grant (Knowledge Sharing in the Digital Era: Data Management in Creative Research), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (CAD25,000) (2020)
  • Collaborator, VICI Talent and Innovation Grant (Beyond Utopia: New Politics, the Politics of Knowledge and the Science Fictional Field of Japan), Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (EUR1,250,000) (2010)
Professional Service

Board (current)

  • LIVE Biennale of Performance Art Society, Board of Directors, Canada
  • The Arts in Society Research Network Advisory Board, Common Ground Research Networks, USA
  • Krisis: Journal for Contemporary Philosophy, Editorial Board, The Netherlands
  • Media | Art | Politics – Leiden University Press book series, Editorial Board, The Netherlands

Community (select)

  • Radcliffe Choral Society Foundation, Board of Directors, Harvard University, USA (2020–2023)
  • ABCD Igniter Programme for Cultural Recovery: Clusters, Communities + Co-working spaces, Brighton and Hove City Council, UK (2022)
  • Equity Framework External Advisory Committee, Planning Divisions, City of Vancouver, Canada (2020–2022)
  • Strategy Implementation Team, New Start Strategy, Vancouver Immigration Partnership, City of Vancouver, Canada (2017–2019)