Tessel Janse teaches on the courses Postcolonial Theory and Literary History 4 in Comparative Literature in Utrecht, and is PhD candidate and assistant lecturer in Media, Communications and Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. After graduating from her BA in Art History at Utrecht University and as a keen participant in the Humanities Honours Programme and Postcolonial Studies Minor, she did the MA in Postcolonial Culture and Global Policy at Goldsmiths.
Her research interests are on the intersections of contemporary art, post- and decolonial theory and practice and critical animal studies. She is particularly interested (post)colonial memory in Indonesia and the Netherlands, interspecies relationality, critical ecologies, environmental justice, decolonial research methods and art as a form of research and activism.
Her PhD thesis, titled “Animal Imaginaries: Articulating Post- and Decolonial Interspecies Ecologies Through Global Art” looks at the value of artistic expression for articulating ongoing forms of ‘animal colonialism’ and envisioning decolonial interspecies approaches to the environment. Chapters centre on Norwegian forced reindeer culling as a form of green colonialism and Sámi art as a performance of counter-sovereignty, Indonesian (were)tigers as a lens for addressing the liminal spaces in postcolonial histories, and interspecies communication with whales in the context of underwater noise pollution and the long history of imperial whaling.
Tessel has written for popular magazine MetropolisM and published in Third Text, worked as researcher at the Prince Claus Fund for Cultural Development, and in education at AAMU (Museum for Contemporary Aboriginal Art Utrecht).