Jordana Moore Saggese is an associate professor of American art and the current editor-in-chief for the College Art Association's Art Journal. Her research focuses on modern and contemporary American art, with an emphasis on expressions of Blackness. Across Saggese's research projects there is an investment in the line between popular culture and critical culture. This investment manifests in the subjects and methodologies of her research, which draw equally from visual culture studies and the traditional history of art, as well as in the dissemination of findings across both academic and general audiences. Saggese's art history capitalizes on the cultural appeal of the popular in order to speak back to the exclusionary tactics of cultural institutions, while also making connections between pop culture and the reality of life in the United States.
Saggese's first two books have centered on the work of the contemporary American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-88). “Reading Basquiat: Exploring Ambivalence in American Art” (University of California Press, 2014), the first and only monographic study of Basquiat to be published by an academic press, reconsiders the artist’s place in the history of modern American art. Saggese's book "The Jean-Michel Basquiat Reader: Writings, Interviews and Critical Responses" was published by the University of California Press in March 2021.