Amanda Cachia completed her PhD in Art History, Theory & Criticism at the University of California, San Diego in Spring 2017, where her dissertation analyses the work of eight contemporary artists who create radical interventions in public space by virtue of non-normative body movements, gestures, and senses. Cachia is interested in the relationship between representation and social identity in contemporary art practice, particularly how this relates to disability and issues of normativity and embodiment. Specifically, she seeks to learn how reductive representations of the disabled body can be de-stabilized and de-centered through the innovative and transgressive art practices of contemporary disabled artists, especially how these representations can move beyond figurative or didactic depictions to embrace complex, embodied, and abstract forms.
Cachia thinks creatively about how the intersection of queer studies, social practice, film studies, performance studies, gender studies, race studies, and phenomenology can feed into her work in disability studies because these fields already powerfully interrogate embodiment and provide critical frameworks and pathways. She is also interested in current topics related to museum access, museum studies and discursive practices that can rupture and re-frame our thinking for the benefit of a disabled audience. Cachia aims to invigorate visual culture in new ways as she brings to the forefront an awareness of disability in a bid to foster new critical and socially just representations.