Research Areas

Visual Art; Public Memory; Activism; Feminism; Critical Theory


Ph.D., Union Institute and University

M.Ed., Lesley University

B.F.A., Mass. College of Art and Design


Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

Karen Frostig

The Vienna Project

Blaze: Discourse on Art, Women and Feminism

Staging Memory

Karen Frostig

Karen Frostig

Karen Frostig

Karen Frostig works as a conceptual, interdisciplinary artist.  She is also a writer, cultural historian, and educator, engaged in international activist projects dealing with traumatic memory, inherited erasures, and new forms of testimony. Invited in 2008 to install the “Exiled Memory” project, at the Universität Wien Juridicum, she conceived and directed “The Vienna Project,” in 2013.  A social action, public memory project situated in sixteen districts on the streets of Vienna. the project challenged prescribed habits of remembrance and fixed formulas of memorialization. Closing at the Austrian National Library in 2014, the project’s culminating event was to project 91,780 names representing seven different persecuted victim groups, murdered between 1938-1945, on the walls of buildings surrounding Josefsplatz.

Associate Professor at Lesley University, Karen presents her work internationally and has published a series of books and journal essays about a variety of topics including visual art, critical theory, Holocaust history, feminist theory, cultural pluralisms, and new pedagogies. She also lectures extensively in the US and Europe about public memory and public art.

Karen is beginning two new memory projects. She will co-direct “Staging Memory,” an art, technology and history project concerning World War II. It is expected to open in 2020. She will also spearhead “The Cambridge Memory Project” focused on remembering Native American history in Cambridge, MA.

Current Projects

My scholarship concerns the intersection of art, public memory, new technologies, and Holocaust history. In 2013-14, I directed a major memorial project in Vienna, dedicated to remembering multiple groups of persecuted Austrian victims of National Socialism. The project combined rigorous archival research with radical artistic intervention. Current focus: permanent Naming Memorial, book project, and “Staging Memory,” concerning World War II. 

Representative Publications

Frostig, K.  (2014). “Performing Memory on the Streets of Vienna.” About Performance: Special Issue: High Stakes: Risk and Performance; Journal of the Department of Performance Studies at the University of Sydney, No. 12 , 45-62.

Frostig, K. (2013). “Making Memory Visible,” In T. Fawns (Ed.), Memory and Meaning: Digital Differences. Oxford, United Kingdom: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 133-150.  ISBN: 978-1-84888-249-2