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New African Studies Exhibition co-organized by faculty member Victoria Rovine

September 21, 2021

The African Studies Center presents
Vanessa Tembane
Existing in the Shadow
Online Exhibition: October 1-31

Special Event: In Dialogue: Vanessa Tembane & Professor Tanya Shields, Women’s and Gender Studies
Thursday, October 28: 4:30-5:30 pm

Vanessa Tembane (b. 1995) is a South African born artist, with Mozambican heritage, currently based in Johannesburg. Tembane holds a Master of Fine Arts. Tembane works primarily in collage and digital print media. Her work is inspired by her mother’s narratives and explores how they have influenced her identity and sense of belonging. Her collages allow her to merge her photographs that were taken in South Africa with those of her Mozambican relatives and to create strange hybridized composites. The collages combine photographic cut-outs with details of swathes of fabric – capulanas – that were given to Tembane by her grandmother and aunts during occasional visits to Mozambique. Tembane’s collages become a means of telling stories about her origins and what is in some sense an alternative “home” culture, albeit one she mostly experienced indirectly. They enable her to identify with her mother’s country of origin by constructing new imagined memories for herself, and through this, to achieve a sense of belonging.

PhD Alumnus Michael Yonan helps inaugurate new journal Materia

June 30, 2021

Ph.D. alumnus Michael Yonan is one of the first contributing scholars to the new digital journal, Materia: Journal of Technical Art History. This biannual publication provides an online, open-access platform devoted to the technical study of art objects. Bringing together the disciplines of conservation, conservation science, art history, and related fields, Materia is among the first peer-reviewed publications dedicated solely to this steadily growing field of interdisciplinary research. You can start your first dive into reading Materia with Michael’s article, “Technical Art History and the Art Historical Thing.” Michael is Alan Templeton Endowed Professor of European Art 1600–1830 at the University of California, Davis.

Congratulations to Assistant Professor Maggie Cao, who will be an NHC Fellow in 2021-2022

April 26, 2021

David G. Frey Assistant Professor Maggie Cao has been named a National Humanities Center Fellow for 2021-2022. She was awarded the Allen W. Clowes Fellowship and Kent R. Mullikin Fellowship to work on her book project Painting and the Making of American Empire‚ 1830–1898. You can read more about the NHC awards here:

Associate Professor Dorothy Verkerk’s book recommended as one of the Five Best Books on Reinterpreting Medieval Art

April 14, 2021

The website Five Books recently published a review by Marc Michael Epstein highlighting Dorothy Verkerk’s book Early Medieval Bible Illumination and the Ashburnham Pentateuch as one of the five best books on reinterpreting medieval art. You can read the full review here: Verkerk’s book is innovative, Epstein says, because her “brilliant analysis -. . . says that one can read across the page chiasmically, like an ‘X’. Or one can skip and go back.  In other words, it seems that the reading of images is not necessarily linear, sequential and chronological.” Congratulations Dorothy!

PhD Candidate Andrea Snow book review published in Religion and the Arts

March 29, 2021

PhD Candidate Andrea C. Snow has published a review of Caroline Walker Bynum’s latest book, Dissimilar Similitudes: Devotional Objects in Late Medieval Europe (Brooklyn: Zone, 2020) in Religion and the Arts. Check it out here:

The editors have invited Andrea to be a repeat reviewer. She looks forward to working with them in the near future.

PhD Graduate Katherine Calvin receives Dean’s Distinguished Dissertation Award

December 14, 2020
Congratulations to Katherine Calvin, Ph.D. ’20, who has received the UNC-Chapel Hill Dean’s Distinguished Dissertation Award in the area of Humanities and Fine Arts for her dissertation “Antiquity and Empire: The Construction of History in Western European Representations of the Ottoman Empire, 1650-1830.  
In addition, the Graduate School is nominating the dissertation as UNC’s candidate for the Council of Graduate Schools’ national distinguished dissertation award in the Humanities. We are very proud of Katherine’s many achievements, which also include starting a tenure-track position at Kenyon College, and are also grateful to her advisor, Christopher Johns of Vanderbilt University, who stepped in to supervise the dissertation after Mary Sheriff’s passing. 

New Essay from Associate Professor Dorothy Verkerk

November 3, 2020

Sometimes our Art History faculty get to do research on topics a little bit outside their usual specializations, and this can turn into an interesting and broader view of the field–one example is Medievalist Dorothy Verkerk’s recent essay for Religion and the Arts about a late 19th-century popular culture image of the Good Shepherd that became ubiquitous in protestant North America. You can read the full essay attached here: “The Quiet Affection in Their Eyes” Bernhard Plockhorst’s Jesus as the Good Shepherd

Teaching Assistant Professor JJ Bauer featured in College of Arts and Sciences homepage article about shift to remote teaching

September 8, 2020

Although originally intended to highlight the many different ways faculty were going to be teaching their courses in the fall (hybrid, hy-flex, remote), the latest homepage feature article on the UNC College of Arts & Sciences website now focuses on innovative approaches to remote teaching, including Teaching Assistant Professor JJ Bauer’s use of digital mapping for a large course project in ARTH 383: Modern Architecture. You can read the full article here: