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 theory, critical race 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, antiracist 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 research appointments

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


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

Remote Member, Critical Design Lab
Vanderbilt University, 2018-present
My project Imagining Access, imagines possible futures for accessible suburban transportation.

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).

“Crushed Water Bottle,” as part of Resilience Report
Co-authors: Tironi, Bacigalupe, Knowles, et al.
Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses (February, 2019.

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.

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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