photo of the artist-scholar

about jarah moesch

Jarah Moesch (MFA, PhD) is an artist-scholar whose work explores issues of justice through the design, production, and acquisition of embodied knowledges. Jarah’s research incorporates queer crip theory, cultural studies, art, and design practices to develop new models for justice and to imagine new worlds.

As a scholar, artist, designer, and multi-modal educator, my research and pedagogy focuses on how knowledge is produced, distributed, acquired, and managed. My work is particularly concerned with how knowledge design practices perform as normative systems for all people, therefore excluding those on the margins. I do so through Queer Justice Design, my hands-on, critical practice founded in queer, feminist pedagogy, and integrated media art to produce new equitable practices and worlds.

My work on the Anthropocene, the ‘apocalyptic’ event, human space exploration, and the medical industrial complex are grounded in the social and physical effects of embedded histories of racism, gender, and disability, inequitable distributions of wealth, food and water, and colonization of land and people. My research investigates the production, distribution, and maintenance of knowledge pathways, and then builds new possibilities, from physical modeling and prototyping, to policies for designing different worlds.

My artwork ranges from traditional forms of art to contemporary new media practices, and tactical social interventions. This multi-modal work explores the tangled relationship between technologies, systems, and embodied knowledges through the performance of everyday life.

Jarah’s artwork has been shown across the United States as well as internationally in festivals and exhibitions. Jarah holds an MFA in Integrated Media Arts from Hunter College, and a PhD in American Studies from University of Maryland.

current appointments

Lecturer, Design, Innovation, & Society
Science & Technology Studies (STS)
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)


Remote Member, Critical Design Lab
Vanderbilt University, 2018-present

Just Space Alliance
Board Member, Jan 2020-Present
Secretary, Jan 2020-Present

current projects & potentialities

Co-Curator for #CripRitual with the Critical Design Lab:
Aimi Hamraie, Cassandra Hartblay and Jarah Moesch in collaboration with the Doris McCarthy Gallery and Tangled Art+Disability, Toronto, Canada, 2020-2021. https://cripritual.com/

protocols & commitments

Protocols for Crip Podcasting (Last updated: July 25, 2020):
(Content for these protocols developed by: Aimi Hamraie, Jarah Moesch, Kevin Gotkin, Kelsie Acton, and Josh Halstead)

Commitments to Abolishing White Supremacy (2020):
(content developed with the Critical Design Lab)

Statement of Antiracist Commitment & Solidarity (2020):
(content developed with the Science & Technology Studies Dept at RPI)

Protocols for Making in the Classroom (2012)

upcoming conferences

The Pause: pedagogy for designing climate justice
Covid Exceptionalism, Bard (online). May 2021

register here: https://blogs.bard.edu/covid-archive/

Extending Metadata of Interactive Media for Better Precision and Accessibility
with Dene Grigar & Matthew Hannah.
ACH. July 2021

Crip Use
with Aimi Hamraie, Kelsey Acton, & Josh Halstead.
4S. Oct, 2021

recent conferences & appointments

Cripping the Podcast
with the Critical Design Lab
Allied Media Conference
Detroit, MI, July, 2020

Designing Crip Feminist Futures
Politics of Health
International Health Humanities Consortium
Nashville, TN, March, 2020 (Cancelled)

Collective Design Activism in the (Health)Care of Everyday Life
SDS@OSU: Multiple Perspectives on Access, Inclusion, and Disability
Society for Disability Studies Conference
Columbus, Ohio, April 2020 (Cancelled)

recent publications

“Queer Bioethics for Everyday Medical Technologies”
in Teaching Health Humanities,
ed. Olivia Banner, Nathan Carlin, and Thomas Cole.
Oxford University Press. (January 2019).

Figuring disasters, an experiment on thinking disruptions as methods,
Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses. (February 2019).
Co-authors: Manuel Tironi, Gonzalo Bacigalupe, Scott Gabriel Knowles, Simon Dickinson,
Magdalena Gil, Sarah Kelly, Jason Ludwig, Jarah Moesch, Francisco Molina, Karla Palma,
Ayesha Siddiqi & Johannes Waldmueller

Fellow, Building Healthcare Collectives
Michigan State University & Ohio State University 2019-2020
Community-engaged, actionable, and equitable health services research that will improve healthcare outcomes for vulnerable communities. www.buildinghealthcarecollectives.org

public humanities knowledge work

#transform (the underlying systems of digital) health
“Field Guide Survey: Can Digital Humanities change the way we study health and practice medicine?”
Media Commons, January 20, 2018. Online.

Questioning the Question
“Field Guide Survey: What is the role of the digital humanities in transforming & responding to the arts?”
Media Commons, March 27, 2017. Online.

Hastac Scholar
Multiple blog posts thinking through digital humanities in the undergraduate classroom.
Critical Code Studies Scholars Forum

previous professions

Prior to academia, Jarah worked in digital media strategy, development, and design; building strategic plans for social media communications, designing training programs for staff to learn digital workflows, creating best practices for internal and external digital communications, and developing numerous websites from conception through launch; responsible for information architecture, user case scenarios, wireframes, user interface designs, visual design, and content production.

Jarah also has worked in broadcast television, film, audio, and video production/post-production. Events included Centennial Olympic Games, NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS, concerts, teleconferences, other live televised events.

Jarah additionally has a background in animal care and in-situ field research, including work as a veterinary technician and zookeeper, as well as camping in remote regions to perform primate, whale, and turtle research; tracking and documenting encounters alongside audio and video recording for research and educational films.

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