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Dr Kristina Huneault, PhD

Professor, Art History
Associate Dean, Faculty Relations & Inclusion, Fine Arts

Dr Kristina Huneault, PhD

Dr. Kristina Huneault is Professor of Art History at Concordia University, a former University Research Chair, and a founder of the Canadian Women Artists History Initiative.  She has an MA in Canadian art history from Concordia (1994) and a PhD in British visual culture from the University of Manchester (1998), where she was a Commonwealth scholar.  She has taught at Concordia since 1999 and was the university's emerging research fellow in 2004.  Dr. Huneault's approach to art combines detailed historical research with theoretical questioning and close looking. She is the author of I’m not myself at all: Women, art and subjectivity in Canada (MQUP) and Difficult Subjects: Working Women and Visual Culture, Britain 1880-1914 (Ashgate), the co-editor of Rethinking Professionalism: Women and Art in Canada (MQUP)and the author of numerous book chapters and journal articles on art, gender, and colonialism.   She is currently the Associate Dean, Faculty Relations & Inclusion, for the Faculty of Fine Arts.

Research & Teaching Interests

  • Nineteenth-Century Art and Visual Culture
  • Canadian Art
  • Art-Historical Method
  • Women Artists
  • Art and Philosophy
  • Art and Subjectivity
  • Art and Colonialism

Distinctions & Awards


  • Marion Dewar Prize in Canadian Women's History
  • Concordia University Emerging Research Fellow
  • Concordia University Research Chair in Art History

I'm Not Myself At All: Women, Art and Subjectivity in Canada. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2018.
Difficult Subjects: Working Women and Visual Culture, Britain 1880-1914. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002
Rethinking Professionalism: Women and Art in Canada, 18750-1970. Edited with Janice Anderson. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2012.

Teaching activities


  • ARTH 200 Perspectives of Art History
  • ARTH 300 Art Historical Methods
  • ARTH 381 Feminism and Art History
  • ARTH 366 Aspects of Nineteenth-Century Western Art and Architecture. Topic
  • ARTH 400 Advanced Seminar in Art Historical Method: Telling Histories: Women and Art in Montreal


  • ARTH 800 Art History and its Methodologies
  • ARTH 804 Writings on Art: Interpreting Subjectivities
  • ARTH 804 Writings on Art: Readings in Continental Aesthetics
  • ARTH 633 Creative and Critical Literature in Art History: Readings in continental aesthetics
  • ARTH 626 Nationhood and Identity in Canadian Art: What is Settler Colonial Art History?
  • ARTH 627 Feminism, Art, Art History: Canadian Women Artists
  • ARTH 655 Thesis Seminar

Thesis Supervision

I am especially interested in topics that combine an interest in history with theoretically-driven questioning.  Any nineteenth-century project is particularly welcome, as are those that engage with subjectivity or aesthetic philosophy, the visual history of colonialism, the cultural encounter with the natural world, or the method and history of art history.  For students with an interest in women and art in Canada I can offer the opportunity to participate in an active research network.

I am currently supervising graduate theses on: canonicity in feminist art history; women's albums in 19th c. Quebec; art conservation as performance; Canadian crystal palaces; fat female bodies in contemporary art; the aesthetics of finitude in contemporary art; lesbian self-representation.


Alena Krasnikova, “Julia Biriukova and the Lumberman in the National Vision of Canada in the 1930s.” 

Aditi Ohri, “Recognition on Settler Terms: The Canadian Handicrafts Guildand First Nations Craft from 1900 to 1967."

Barbara Wisnoski, “An Aesthetics of Everything Else: Flat Ontologies and the Everyday."


Chantale Poitié, “To Make Sense of a World: Translation, Germaine Koh, Globalization."

Pamela Mackenzie, “The Fourth Kingdom: Art and Agency in Plastic."


Jason Klimock, ”Beyond Beauty: A Philosophic Consideration of Victorian Era Atlantic Salmon Flies."

Eliana Stratica Mihail, “I Don’t: The Commodification of the Bride in Montreal Art from the 1970s."


Taylor Leedahl, “Aganetha Dyck and the Honeybees: The Evolution of an Interspecies Creative Collaboration."


Wendy Butler, “James Earl Fraser’s The End of the Trail: Affect and the Persistence of an Iconic Indian Image."


David Capell, “OnExperience in the Art of Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller."

Kathryn Beattie, “Aspects of Acceptance and Denial in Posthumous Painted Portraits and Postmortem Photographs of Nineteenth-Century Children."

Julie Boivin, “The Aesthetics of Frivolity: Reinvesting in Balloons, Cake Icing, Bows, Ribbons and Trinkets."


Avery Larose, “The Fragmented City: The Urban Landscapes of Eleanor Bond, Brenda Pelkey and Janet Cardiff."

John Latour, “Manifestations of the Absent Figure in Canadian Sculpture since the Seventies." 

Melinda Reinhart, “Lady Falkland’s Travel Album: Negotiating Colonial and Feminine Discourses."


Peter Gallo, “Epistemological regularities of the surface gaze in the works of MichelFoucault and Clement Greenberg."


Carolyn Cross, “BodyMarking within New France: A Contemporary Perspective."



Kathryn Simpson, Monsters in the Mirror: Strategies of Ugliness in Early-Twentieth-Century Viennese Self-Portraiture


Peter Gallo, "Bio-Aesthetics and the Artist as Case History."

Rosika Desnoyers, "A Genealogy of Pictorial Berlin Work: A History of Errors." (Humanities program)


Marie Shurkus, "Appropriation Art: Moving Images, Presenting Difference." (Humanities program)

Research activities

Current Research

My individual research asks philosophically-driven questions about the visual and material cultures of the past, with a particular interest in nineteenth and early twentieth-century Canada. Currently, I am working on Canadian articulations of the relation between modernism and women. My recent research has focused on subjectivity and art. How does art partake in the creation of a sense of selfhood, and how is it related to our understanding of others?  My answers to these questions have touched on subjects as diverse as the triangulation of gender, art and deafness, the ethical responsibilities of the settler art historian, and the fascination for the natural world.  In each case, I employ a process of historically situated close looking, paying equal attention to the social contexts in which art was made and circulated, and to the material characteristics of images themselves.  To these I marry an interest in speculative thought and theoretical questioning. Here my background and interests are eclectic.  My training in a feminism influenced by post-structuralism and psychoanalysis has more recently been expanded by decolonial, Deleuzian, and new materialist analysis. Visually, I am drawn by the challenge of "looking at the overlooked," and my research frequently engages with marginalized artists and genres, such as miniature painting or botanical illustration.  Methodologically, I see art history as a creative process whose task is to build a meaningful interface between the objects of the past and the concerns of the present.

My collaborative research occurs in conjunction with the Canadian Women Artists History Initiative.  This Concordia-based project promotes research on a wide range of historical Canadian women artists through conferences, workshops and publications.  We also support research through a Documentation Centre and the development of online historical research tools. After 4 decades of feminist scholarship, what does the study of women's specific experience continue to offer to art history?   Our recent work on women's encounter with the structures of professionalism is one example of way in which consideration of women's past continues to pose new insights, challenging art history to reconsider its assumptions and broadening the field of objects and practitioners available for study. CWAHI welcomes student involvement.

"A Past As Rich As Our Futures Allow: A Genealogy of Feminist Art in Canada." With Janice Anderson. In Desire Change: Contemporary Feminist Art in Canada. Edited by Heather Davis. Montreal and Winnipeg: MQUP and MAWA, 2017.
 “As Well As Men: The Gendering of Beaver Hall.” In The Beaver Hall Group of Painters, Edited by Jacques Des Rochers and Brian Foss. Montreal: MMFA, 2016.



  • I'm Not Myself at All: Women, Art and Subjectivity in Canada. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2018.
  • Rethinking Professionalism: Essays on Women and Art in Canada, 1850-1970. Ed. Kristina Huneault and Janice Anderson. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2012.
  • Difficult Subjects: Working Women and Visual Culture, Britain 1880-1914. London: Ashgate Press, 2002.


  • "Women and the Artistic Field, Cultural Production in the Canadian Context," Journal of Canadian Art History 34.2 (2013): 11-22. Co-authored with Janice Anderson.
  • "Reflections: The Canadian Women Artists History Initiative," Journal of Canadian Art History 32.2 (Fall 2011), 138-43.
  • "The Women Artists History Initiative: A Resource for Museums," Muse 29.3 (May-June 2011): 36-43.
  • "Beyond National or International: Art and Identity in Formerly Colonial Countries." Acta Historiae Artium 49 (2008): 71-75.
  • "Miniature Objects of Cultural Covenant." RACAR: Revue d'art canadien/ Canadian Art Review 30.1-2 (2005) 87-100.
  • "Impressions of Difference: The Painted Canvases of Helen McNicoll." Art History 27. 2 (Spring 2004): 212-49.
  • "'The Week of My Life': The Visual Culture of Women's Trade Union Demonstrations." Visual Culture in Britain 3, 12 (2002): 1-22.
  • "Flower-Girls and Fictions: Selling on the Streets." RACAR: Revue d'art canadien/ Canadian Art Review XXIII, 1-2 (1996/1998): 52-70.
  • "With Shield and Sword: Working Women and Trade Union Imagery 1880-1914." Things: A Journal of Material Culture 4 (Summer 1996): 62-81.
  • "Heroes of a Different Sort: Gender and Patriotism in the War Workers of Frances Loring and Florence Wyle." Journal of Canadian Art History 15 (Summer 1994): 26-49.

Book Chapters

  • "A Past as Rich as Our Future Allows: An Historical Context for Feminist Art in Canada." In Desire/Change: Contemporary Feminist Art in Canada. Edited by Heather Davis. Montreal: McGill-Queen's Univeristy Press, 2016. Co-authored with Janice Anderson.
  • "As Well As Men: The Gendering of Beaver Hall.” In The Beaver Hall Group of Painters, Jacques Des Rochers and Brian Foss, eds., 263-92. Montreal: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 2015 (Also published in French).
  • "In Miniature: Trauma and Indigenous Identity in Colonial Canada." In Visual Politics of Psychoanalysis: Art and the Image in Post-Traumatic Cultures, edited by Griselda Pollock, 41-59. London: I.B. Taurus, 2013.
  • "Miniature Painting as Transcultural Object? The John Norton and Peter Jones Portraits." In The Art of Transculturation. Ed. Julie Codell. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2012.
  • "Professionalism as Critical Concept and Historical Process for Women and Art in Canada." In Rethinking Professionalism: Essays on Women and Art in Canada, 1850-1970. Ed. Kristina Huneault and Janice Anderson. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2012.
  • "Always There: First Peoples and the Consolation of Miniature Portraits in British North America." In Art and the British Empire. Ed. Tim Barringer, Geoff Quilley and Doug Fordham. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007. 288-308.  REVISED AND REPUBLISHED AS: "Always There: The Consolation of Miniature Portraiture in British North America." In Rebecca Belmore March 5, 1819. Ottawa: Carleton University Art Gallery, 2018.
  • "Placing Frances Anne Hopkins". In Global/Local: Women's Art in the Nineteenth Century. Ed. Deborah Cherry and Janice Helland.  London: Ashgate, 2006. 179-199.
  • "Living Tableaux of Misery and Oppression: Representing Sweated Labour." In Work and the Image II: Work in Modern Times. Ed. Griselda Pollock and Valerie Mainz. London: Ashgate Press, 2000. 11-31.

Catalogue essays

  • "Frances Anne Hopkins and Princess Louise." The Artist Herself: Self-Portraits by Canadian Historical Women Artists, edited by Tobi Bruce and Alicia Boutilier, 50-53. Kingston and Hamilton: Agnes Etherington Art Centre and Art Gallery of Hamilton, 2015.
  • "Emily Carr Inside a Forest II." Picturing the Americas: Landscape Painting from Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic, edited by Peter John Brownlee, Valéria Piccoli and Georgiana Uhlyarik, 248-51. Yale: Yale University Press, 2015.
  • "The Victorian Dress by Helen McNicoll." Choice Matters: Key Works from the Art Gallery of Hamilton, edited by Toby Bruce, 102-3. Hamilton: Art Gallery of Hamilton, 2005. 
  • The Owl Pen Prints: Illustrations by Lucille Oille. Windsor: Art Gallery of Windsor, 1992.

Websites (Online Scholarly Databases)

Participation activities

Public lectures and conferences


  • I'm Not Myself At All.  Thomas More Institute. [Public Interview]
  • Reflections on Identity and Subjectivity as Starting Points for Feminist Art History. Perspectives féministes en histoire de l'art, UQAM, Montreal. [Keynote]


  • Art History in Settler States: Cultural Studies and the Colonies. Barber Art Institute, Birmingham, UK [Symposium organizer and speaker]
  • Diversity: The Limits of Identity in Botanical Art by Women.  Women, Men & Plants in 19th century Canada: New Resources, New Perspectives, York University. [Invited speaker]


  • Challenges to Art History in Settler Colonial Societies. Clark Art Institute, Williamsburg, MA [Workshop organizer and speaker]
  • Beyond the Binary: Thinking Beaver Hall through Prudence Heward and the Group of Seven. Art Gallery of Windsor. [Public lecture]
  • 'As well as men': Gender and the Beaver Hall Group. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Art Gallery of Hamilton. [Public lecture]


  • The Artist Herself: Broadening Ideas of Self-Portraiture in Canada, Queen's University, Kingston [Conference organizer].


  • Doing Settler-Colonial Art History in Canada, Department of Art History, Concordia University, Montreal [Workshop organizer and speaker].
  • Arkhe: Art and the Archives. Berkshire Conference on Women's History, University of Toronto and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. [Conference paper]
  • Settler-Colonial Art History: A Transnational Perspective, Concordia University, Montreal. [Panel participant]
  • Settler-Colonialism and Art in Canada. Art and the British Empire Exhibition Methodology Workshop, Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven, CT. [Invited speaker]


  • Settler Collinla Art History in the Canadian Context. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art. Montreal.[Workshop organizer and speaker]
  • Everything is connected: Emily Carr, Salish basketry the challenges of Canadian women's art history. University of Alberta, Edmonton. [Public lecture]


  • Imagining History: A Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Conference. Concordia University, Montreal [Conference organizer and plenary speaker]
  • Am I that nature? Emily Carr, Salish baskets, and the idea of the world. Feminist Art History Conference 2012, The American University, Washington. [Conference paper]
  • Every animate and inanimate thing': art and ontology across cultures. Universities Art Association of Canada, Montreal, 1-3 November 2012.  [Conference paper]
  • Beyond the Great Divide: Human and Non-Human Nature in the Late Paintings of Emily Carr, Beyond the Culture of Nature, University of British Columbia.  [Conference paper]
  • What is The Canadian Women Artists History Initiative? Canadian Museums Association Conference. [Conference paper]
  • New Questions or Stale Answers?  Feminism and Art History.  Women Art: Continuing Discourses Undergraduate Conference, Concordia University. [Keynote]
  • Women Art: Continuing Discourses. FoFA Gallery, Concordia University. [panel discussant]


  • Exhibitions, Archives and Documentation: A Symposium for the Leverhulme International Network on Transnational Perspectives on Women's Art, Feminist Art and Curating. [Workshop organizer]
  • Diversity: Difference, Identity and the Botanical Encounter. McGill University. [Public lecture]
  • Critically Canadian: Archives, Collections and Art Historical Research in Canada. Universities Art Association of Canada, 16 October 2010. [panel participant]


  • Difference and Identity in Botanical Drawing. Universities Art Association of Canada.  University of Alberta, Edmonton. [Conference paper]
  • Difference and Repetition / Gendered Identity and Botanical Drawing. Greenscapes ~ Sense and Meaning. Brock University, St. Catharine's. [Conference paper]


  • Connections: The Inaugural Conference of the Canadian Women Artists History Initiative. Concordia University, Montreal. [Conference Organizer]
  • Practice and Method in the Canadian Women Artists History Initiative.. Ontario Association of Art Galleries Fall Focus Session: Art Institutions and the Feminist Dialectic. [Invited speaker]


  • Beyond National or International: Art and Identity in Formerly Colonial Countries. How to Write Art History: National Regional or Global? CIHA conference, Budapest. [Conference paper]
  • Gender as a Lens for Nationhood: The Canadian Women Artists' History Initiative. Universities Art Association of Canada, Waterloo. [Conference paper]
  • Seeing Demasduit. Portrait Gallery of Canada/National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. [Public lecture]
  • Creative statements, discursive webs, and formal analysis: Methodological considerations in art history. History in Images, History through Images conference, École normale supérieure des letters et sciences humaines, Lyon. [Invited lecture]
  • Transition and Translation: Miniature Paintings and First Nations Sitters in British North America, Association of Art Historians, Belfast. [Conference paper]


  • How Close to Me? Mothers and Babies in Canadian Art. Picturing Her: Images of Girlhood. McCord Museum, Montreal. [Public lecture]
  • Miniature Painting and the Fine Art of Selfhood. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. [Public lecture]


  • Demasduit and Lady Hamilton: Cross Cultural Contact in 19th century Newfoundland. American Society of Ethnohistorians. Newberry Library, Chicago.  [Conference paper]
  • Limned: The Gendered Space of Miniature Painting in Colonial Canada. Congrès international de l'histoire de l'art, Montreal. [Conference paper]
  • Whose Name at Stake?  Women, Art and Travel in Colonial Canada. Association of Art Historians, Nottingham. [Conference paper]


  • Frances Anne Hopkins in Rupert's Land, McGill University, 21 October 2003.  [Public lecture]
  • The Name That Means Name-Giver, Victorian Visual Culture Group, Yale University. [Invited speaker]

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