James Sanders

James Sanders

Associate Professor
MFA, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
Ph.D., University of North Carolina Greensboro, Education
BFA, Arkansas State University

James H. Sanders III (Jim) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy at the Ohio State University, has taught across the department’s graduate programs and coordinates the department’s Graduate Specialization in Museum Education and Management.  Dr. Sanders teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses, including an interdisciplinary arts career preparation course, Exploring Careers Across the Arts: Positioning Passion, the cross-listed elective, Visual Media Representations of LGBTQ Subjects, approved in Art Education, Film Studies and Sexuality Studies.  The graduate level course, Histories of Arts Education Policies and Practices  is a requisite for Ph.D. and APA students in the program.

Professor Sanders arts-based, narrative, and interpretive research explores policies and practices culturally constituting subjectivities and shaping understandings of schools, traditions, agencies and agents. Centrally concerned with how meanings and values are socially constructed, contested, performed, interpreted, documented and historically recorded, his research examines schools, community arts organizations and museum settings, and contemplates how each contributes in the construction of vibrant cultural communities. Sanders has delivered scholarly papers in Australia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, and USA.

Dr. Sanders’ academic presentations and publications cross fields of education, art, and historic studies; work frequently framed from critical and queer perspectives that question distributions of power and authority, and what subjects are deemed worthy of study.  Sanders also remains engaged in studio practices, working in fibers/weaving, and ceramics. He is a committed gardener, baker, and devoted grandfather.

Sanders earned his Ph.D. in Education (Curriculum and Instruction) at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro (1999), and MFA in Fine Arts from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale (1976), and a BFA awarded by the Arkansas State University (1974) in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Born in Chicago, and completing his public education in Northern Illinois, Sanders’ biological family have primarily resided in North Central Arkansas over the past two centuries.

Prior to arriving at The Ohio State University, Sanders worked in the nonprofit sector for 26 years.  From 1977-1987 as he served as Executive Director of the Ozark Craft Guild, an Arkansas craft cooperative of both traditional and contemporary artisans.  From 1987-2003 as Executive Director of the Sawtooth Center for Visual Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, he managed one of the largest community schools of visual art in the United States, and during his last three years in that post he founded the Arts Based Elementary School, a North Carolina Public Charter School.

Sanders has received an Ohio’s Art Educator of the Year recognition from the Ohio Art Education Association, and is now serving a fourth consecutive term on the board of Ohio Citizens for the Arts.  Over the past 15 years Sanders has held more than a half-dozen executive offices in special interest groups of the American Education Research Association and National Art Education Association,, served six years on the Curriculum and Pedagogy board, and held numerous state and local leadership roles across Arkansas, North Carolina, and Ohio. Sanders is currently completing a third term as Treasurer of the International Society for Education through Art.

Areas of Expertise

  • Community arts organizations
  • Art and history museums
  • Institutional policy and practice
  • Film/media
  • Pedagogical teaching in grades K-16 school settings


  • 20040101-20060101 Co-President.
  • 20030101-20040101 Vice President.
  • 19980101 Piedmont Triad Stars Award.
  • 19960101 Arts and Cultural Organization of the Year Award.
  • 19940101-19950101 Department of Human Relations Award: Cultural Organization of the Year.
  • 19940101 Governor’s Business Awards in the Arts and Humanities.
  • 19900101 Art Agency of Distinction.
  • 19880101 Co-founder.
  • 19850101 Co-founder.
  • 19760101 Best of Show.
  • 19700101-19720101 Art Faculty Grant Award (full scholarship).

Journal Articles


  • Sanders, J., 2009, "White folks in black spaces." Journal of Social and Cultural Research in Education


  • Sanders, J., 2008, "Casey Doyle: Artist at play." Journal of LGBT Youth 1, no. 2,
  • Sanders, J., 2008, "Troubling the IRB: Institutional review boards' impact on art educator conducting social science research involving human subjects." Studies in Art Education 49, no. 4,


  • Sanders, J., 2007, "Queering art teacher education." International Journal of Art and Design Education 26, no. 1,


  • Sanders, J., 2006, "Please update record with Title." -


  • Sanders, J., 2005, "Queer visualities: Trans issue intorduction to the photographs of Mariette Pathy Allen." International Journal of Gay and Lesbian Issues in Education 3, no. 1,