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Congratulations to Art History Professor Victoria Rovine, named the next Director of Carolina Public Humanities

April 5, 2024

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Victoria Rovine, professor of art history, as the next director of Carolina Public Humanities. She begins her new role on July 1.

Professor Rovine has been a member of the department of art and art history faculty since 2014, joining the Carolina community after positions at the University of Florida and the University of Iowa. She is also currently director of the UNC African Studies Center, a position she wraps up at the end of this semester.

She has had a long association with Carolina Public Humanities programming, having given a number of lectures and talks on campus and at community colleges that were sponsored by CPH, the University’s public outreach arm for the humanities. The program is one of the many ways UNC serves North Carolina by bringing faculty expertise and resources to partner with communities throughout the state.

Professor Rovine is a scholar of African art, particularly African textiles and dress practices. She has published widely on African fashion designers, contemporary African artists and the representation of Africa in Europe through visual culture. Her public outreach experience began early in her career, when she worked as an educator at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, and later as a museum curator at the University of Iowa Museum of Art, where she saw firsthand the value of engagement and partnerships between the academic and public worlds. Her commitment to sharing the value of the humanities as a means of enriching our lives, addressing profound questions and building a stronger democracy could not come at a more important time.

I would like to once more thank Lloyd Kramer, professor of history, for so ably steering Carolina Public Humanities since 2014. The program greatly expanded under his tenure, even during the pandemic. Professor Rovine will find a talented and committed team in place when she begins her new role this summer.

I would also like to thank the members of the search committee, chaired by Christie Norris, director of Carolina K-12, for their efforts: Sarah Geer, CPH Advisory Board Chair; Eric Linwood Johnson, CPH Advisory Board Member; Herica Valladares, Associate Professor, Classics; and Alex Worsnip, Associate Professor, Philosophy.


Elizabeth S. D. Engelhardt

Senior Associate Dean for Fine Arts and Humanities

Kenan Eminent Professor of Southern Studies

College of Arts and Sciences

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Congratulations to Departmental Phi Beta Kappa honorees for 2024

April 4, 2024

Congratulations to the following Department of Art and Art History students who were inducted into Phi Beta Kappa this spring:

Isabelle Lilly Anderson, art history minor
Louise Celeste Covington, art history minor
Lauren Ashley Flach, art history minor
Lauren Sage Guillemette, studio art major
Andrew Robert Knotts, studio art major
Sydney Kates Martin, studio art major
Toni-Ann Ocloo, studio art minor
Glorianna R Tarlton, studio art minor

PhD Alumnus Daniel Ackermann named director of Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens at MFA-Houston

March 5, 2024

Congratulations to PhD Alumnus Daniel Ackermann, who has just been named director of Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, the house museum for American decorative arts at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.  You can find the full announcement at Daniel was previously the curator for the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in Winston-Salem.

PhD Candidate Emily DuVall presented at the Middle Atlantic Symposium

March 5, 2024

Congratulations to Emily DuVall, who represented the department at the Middle Atlantic Symposium (co-sponsored by CASVA, the National Gallery of Art, and the University of Maryland) this past weekend of March 1-2, 2024. Emily’s talk, “Visualizing Power: François Ier’s Royal Entries,” presented new research that resulted from travel to France in the Fall of 2023, funded by a Stephens Family Award. Her advisor Tania String was also in attendance to introduce her talk and photographed Emily in action at the Symposium.

Emily DuVall presenting at the Middle Atlantic Symposium in 2024

Art History Graduate Students Rachel Ciampoli and Sydney Herrick presenting at FSU Graduate Symposium

February 29, 2024

The Florida State University Art History faculty and graduate students will host the 40th Annual Art History Graduate Student Symposium on March 1–2, 2024, on their main campus in Tallahassee, FL.

Rachel Ciampoli will be presenting on “‘The Indigenous Posey of the Soil:’ Eastman Johnson’s Maple Sugar Paintings and the Aesthetics of Erasure.”

Between 1861 and 1865, American genre painter Eastman Johnson produced roughly twenty-five oil sketches in preparation for an ultimately unfinished master work depicting New Englanders engaged in the harvest and production of maple sugar. Although hailed during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as a potential domestic cash crop and a wholesome foil to the unsavory politics of cane sugar production, northeastern maple sugar was entangled in contentious Indigenous-settler relationships. Using Sara Ahmed’s theory of “stickiness” as a framework, I argue that Johnson’s sentimental and homogenously White characterization of maple sugaring should be understood in light of the erasure of Native American cultural practices and Johnson’s own relationship to Indigenous communities. Recovering Indigenous associations with the practice of maple sugaring engages in the very process of untangling— perhaps unsticking—historical assumptions and perpetuated myths and undermines the integrity of a single-origin narrative, thereby complicating typical expectations of place and people.

Sydney Herrick will be presenting on “Breaking Chains, Forging Beauty: Redefining African Jewelry Design Through the Artistry of Emefa Cole.”

Within prevailing art historical discourse, contemporary African jewelry remains overlooked, primarily due to long histories of exoticization and jewelry’s association with craft. This paper focuses on the work of British-Ghanian jewelry designer Emefa Cole, examining how her utilization of sticky materials, referential designs, and diverse display methods disrupts these conventional paradigms and position her work as fertile ground for exploring critical theoretical frameworks like Afrofuturism and Black Futurity. This paper positions contemporary African jewelry as a medium ripe for in-depth art historical and theoretical investigation, highlighting a significant void in the field and advocating for a renewed emphasis on jewelry as an autonomous art form capable of enhancing broader understandings of art, culture, and individual expression

Faculty Member Dan Sherman on Panel discussing Anti-Fascism and Avant Garde Movements

February 6, 2024

In advance of the new annual Reckford Lecture in European Studies, join faculty from Art History and Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures for a panel discussion on (Anti-)Fascism and Avant Garde Movements! The event is on February 15, 2024, at 5:30 pm in Toy Lounge of Dey Hall. Refreshments to follow.

Professor Dan Sherman will be representing our department on the panel and speaking about Italian futurism and the so-called “return to order” in France after WW1, with emphasis on Le Corbusier.

Faculty Member Kathryn Desplanque and several alumni part of group exhibition at CAM Raleigh

November 6, 2023

Opening November 10, 2023 at CAM Raleigh, Neo-Psychedelia is co-curated by Art History Assistant Professor Kathryn Desplanque and MFA Alumnus Raj Bunnag, and includes the work of Desplanque, Alumni Jerstin Crosby, Chieko Murasugi, Charlie Dupee, and Triangle-based artists Tonya Solley-Thornton and Zach Storm. There will be an opening reception on November 10 from 5-9 pm and the show runs through March 2024.