University at Buffalo
Department of


Art & Design

Art History

Visual Studies

Jasmina Tumbas

Assistant Professor

Visual Studies


Jasmina Tumbas_lr

Jasmina Tumbas’s teaching and research fields focus on modern and contemporary art and theory, histories and theories of performance, body and conceptual art, art and activism, politics of contemporary visual culture, feminist art, and critical theory. Tumbas completed her doctoral degree in Art History and Visual Studies at Duke University in 2013, where she received a number of fellowships to conduct extensive research at various archives in Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, and Germany. She is currently working on the completion of her manuscript, “In the Specter of Sovereignty: Art and Sex under Yugoslav Socialism,″ which analyzes how artists used performance and conceptual art to highlight socially suppressed aspects of sex and gender, manifest in an overt display of a range of forbidden sexualities, and how they questioned and deconstructed what art can and should be, and what the public could do to resist the normative parameters of social relations, civic engagement, and political consciousness.

She has published her research on Hungarian post-1945 art in ArtMargins in fall 2012 and in Sztuka i Dokumentacja (Art and Documentation) in spring 2014, work that highlights alternative forms of connectivity through the organization of experimental art spaces and archives, and through the clandestine circulation of mail art in socialist Hungary. Her research on experimental Yugoslav art will be featured in Performing Arts in the Second Public Sphere (2016). Tumbas’ second book project engages with the question of ethnic Roma in East and Central Europe, the largest and most discriminated minority in Europe predominately left out of histories about avant-garde art in the region. Tumbas also works with artists and activists as a translator and editor, such as Austrian Roma, artist, and activist Marika Schmiedt’s books, What remains. Fragments of a continuous past (2014) and “Thoughts Are Free” Anxiety is Reality for Roma in Europe (2013). In addition, Tumbas has served as a freelance assistant editor and translator for the activist art and publishing collective ArtLeaks.

Tumbas has presented her research at a range of international conferences, and has co-organized events and conferences at Duke University, such as the first “Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics’ 2012 Convergence: The Geo/Body Politics of Emancipation” in Fall 2012, and served as a faculty advisor to graduate students during the Hemispheric Convergence on “Experimental Collectivities” at USC, Los Angeles (2013). Since her arrival in Buffalo, she has organized numerous workshops and curatorial projects with artists around the question of art and activism, and has curated performances and exhibitions at the radical queer art space Dreamland in Buffalo. In 2010, Tumbas co-founded the Public School Durham, an independently run experimental learning community open to the public with branches in New York, Berlin, Paris, and Los Angeles, among other locations, and taught various classes on Contemporary Art, Queer Cinema, and East European Film for the public school.

Courses taught at UB:

VS 505: Tactics of Praxis: Paradigms of Art and Activism
VS 500: Performance Art: History, Theory, and Institutionalization
VS 400/500: Feminism, Art, and Culture
VS 500: Beyond Marina Abramovic: Art from the East of Europe
VS 300/400: Performance Art in History and Theory
AHI 395: Contemporary Art
VS 150: Visual Theory, Aesthetic & Criticism
AHI 102: Survey of Western Art from the Renaissance to the Present

Other Art History/Visual Studies Faculty:

202 Center for the Arts, North Campus
Buffalo, New York 14260-6010
(716) 645-6878
(716) 645-6970 fax