Monica’s criticism, essays, and interviews related to art and aesthetics have most recently appeared in BOMBlog, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, VICE art and technology blog Motherboard, and PBS’s Art21.
She has written locally in Chicago about visual art, theater, and popular culture for ArtSlant, The Onion A.V. Club, Time Out Chicago, The Huffington Post, Chicago Magazine, and the alt-weekly newspaper New City, where she also contributes nonfiction book reviews.
She is the former Deputy Editor in Chicago for Flavorpill, a national culture guide and critics’ list. She is a regular contributor to the the contemporary art blog Bad at Sports and has also contributed to the cultural blog Flavorwire and No Caption Needed, a blog dedicated to visual rhetoric and democracy.
She has written catalog essays for the DePaul Art Museum, Columbia College’s A+D Gallery, and Andrew Rafacz Gallery, among other places. She also regularly collaborates with visual artists on creative and critical projects.
Monica was the scholar in residence during the fall of 2012 at High Concept Laboratories, an arts service organization dedicated to supporting artists from the performing and visual arts and engaging the Chicago community.
A passionate advocate for self-taught artists, Monica has presented at several panels in Chicago on the place of outsider art in local art scenes as well as academic art theory and criticism. She currently serves as a non-board member of Intuit Museum’s Collections and Acquisitions Committee. Her writing on outsider art has appeared in New City and The Outsider Magazine and is forthcoming in Raw Vision.
A university and graduate instructor of writing and media theory, Monica has won teaching awards at the University of Chicago and Roosevelt University for her courses on rhetoric, writing social justice, and media aesthetics.
A faculty member of DePaul University’s Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse department, she teaches two self-designed undergraduate courses in the WRD department — “Fieldwork in Arts Writing” and “Writing Censorship“ — along with first-year rhetoric and composition courses.
Monica also teaches graduate courses in DePaul’s New Media Studies MA program: “Old Media, New Media” (a historically-framed survey of media theory), as well as two self-designed courses, ”Digital Museums and Archives” and “Digital Archives: Rhetoric and Aesthetics.”Courses
A PhD student and University Fellow, concentrating in rhetoric, at the University of Illinois in Chicago’s English Studies department, Monica is a founding member of UIC’s Rhetoric Society of America chapter. She specializes in rhetorical theory and its intersections with historical debates in both philosophical aesthetics and critical digital theory/ media theory. Her doctoral work focuses on the concept of “rhetorical presence” in ancient and contemporary rhetorical theory and practice. She is also particularly interested in the genre of art criticism and rhetorics of value and meaning-making in contemporary art.
Monica has written for and served on the editorial board of Transformations, an independent, double-blind peer-reviewed electronic journal of media and culture addressing “the transformative processes of new technologies and mediating practices that change the way we think, feel and interact with others both in a contemporary and historical sense.” She received her MA in Humanities from the University of Chicago on a University Fellowship, where she was later awarded a teaching fellowship in the college's writing program; and her BA, magna cum laude, in English from Amherst College, where her undergraduate thesis on postdramatic theater and the avant-garde won the department’s Elizabeth Bruss Prize for depth and breadth of imagination.CV