Professor of History
Her teaching interests focus on the social and cultural history of Early Modern Europe, with a special emphasis on Renaissance Visual Culture, Body History, Catholicism, and Comparative Legal Studies of the Mediterranean.
Her most recent research centers on lactation imagery in Renaissance and Baroque art. She published a book entitled Convents and the Body Politic in Late Renaissance Venice (University of Chicago Press, 1999), two edited volumes entitled Across the Religious Divide: Women, Property, and Law in the Wider Mediterranean, with Shona Kelly Wray (Routledge, 2009) and Medieval and Renaissance Lactations: Images, Rhetorics, Practices (Ashgate, 2013), as well as articles on allegories of Charity, queer lactation imagery, the history of marriage and Portuguese women's property rights in the Renaissance.
In this course, we will explore art, literature, and other forms of cultural expressions in the early modern era (1400-1800) in different parts of the world. Case studies will be located in the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean Region, Africa, and pre- and post-Columbian Latin America. A particular focus will be on questions of gender. Research for final papers should be based on work with primary sources (such as original art works). Depending on funding, there will be a field trip to the Met.
This course is a methods-course for all students interested in historical inquiry. We will start out by reading Gayatri Spivak's provocative essay "Can the Subaltern Speak?", in which she, among other things, problematizes the difficulties of writing the history of disenfranchised peoples who may not have left traces in the archive. We will then move into a variety of case studies from early modern Europe, Latin America, Africa, and South-Asia to discuss the potential for reading archival material against the grain. We might also discuss non-textual forms of historical research informed by objects and images. The class will be conducted seminar-style, with ample opportunities for students to pursue their own research.
This course is about interlocking theories of visual culture, materiality, and desire. It will start out by examining miracle-working art of the medieval period, move into early modern iconoclasm, and consider European encounters with visual cultures in Latin America and Africa. Among others, we will ask, in W. T. Mitchell's words: "What do pictures want?" to theorize the particular address of certain figurative art works on the viewer. We might also consider questions concerning the materiality of Neapolitan Baroque art, and trace the colonial history of the concept of "fetish," first coined by 16th century Portuguese explorers of Africa, who encountered what they called magic and witchcraft (feitico).
This course is an introductory history course based entirely on primary literature, art, and music written and produced by women from various parts of Europe, Mexico, and Ethiopia. We will read letters, scientific treatises, autobiographies, and political writings by prominent mystics (Saints Hildegard of Bingen, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz and Walatta Pretos), proto-feminist writers (Christine de Pizan and Moderata Fonte), female physicians and midwives (Trotula, Olivia Sabuco de Nantes Barrera, Jane Sharp), Jewish businesswomen (Glickl van Hameln), fake saints (Cecilia Ferazzi), courtesans (Veronica Franco), cross-dressing soldiers (Catalina/o de Erauso), and French revolutionaries (Olympe de Gouges). In addition, we will listen to music by Francesca Caccini and Italian nuns and view the art of Artemisia Gentileschi, Lavinia Fontana, and Sofonisba Anguissola. Mix of creative writing assignments and analytical papers.
Berlin has been at the center of German politics and culture all throughout the twentieth and twenty-first century. Through a series of case studies and a focus on select political events, we will discuss major changes in German culture and society since the end of WW I. Topics might inlcude: the revolution of 1918 and the assassination of Rosa Luxemburg; gay culture in the 1920's; the rise ofNazism and the burning of the Reichstag; Jews during WW II; Russians in Berlin; the building of the wall in 1961; Rudi Dutschke and the student rebellion of 1968; GDR dissidents; the Turkish community; the squatter movement; reunification and gentrification; club-culture; African (and Syrian) migrants and refugees. We will read fiction and creative non fiction as well as scholarly literature. A film series will accompany the course with a German discussion session. Assignments are flexible and can incorporate artistic productions. This course might be of particular interest to students who will participate in the Berlin program in the spring of 2017.