Having completed her Ph.D. in Art History and Visual Studies at Cornell University in 2019, Professor Ryan joined the faculty at St. Olaf that Fall. She also holds an M.A. in Art History, a B.F.A. in Studio Art, and a B.A. in Humanities from the University of Colorado. In 2017, she was awarded an American Association of University Women Dissertation Fellowship. 

Professor Ryan's areas of research include Transatlantic visual culture, modern and contemporary arts of the African diaspora, Latin American art, intersectional feminism, and women-identifying artists. With a decolonial and feminist perspective, her work engages with issues of race and gender through theories of consumption, labor, recuperation, and care - frequently as they intersect with maternity. An occasional curator, Dr. Ryan has organized exhibitions on contemporary film, video, and photography. She has a professional background in the museum field, specifically education and outreach, at The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, The Norton Museum of Art, and The Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University. 

At St. Olaf she teaches courses in Modern and Contemporary Art, including Introduction to Art History and Methods of Art History. Some favorite courses include Latin American Modernism, Museum Controversies, and Art Since 1945. 

Her current book projects are a volume co-edited with Lesley Wolff titled Nourish and Resist: Food and Feminisms in Contemporary Caribbean Culture, and her manuscript, Liquid Gold: Milk in Transatlantic Visual Culture. Having recently curated an exhibition and written a book chapter on Hurricane Katrina, she is currently writing an article on hurricanes in contemporary art.