Professor, Art History
Associate Dean, Faculty Relations & Inclusion, Fine Arts
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.
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.
MA THESES COMPLETED
2018Alena Krasnikova, “Julia Biriukova and the Lumberman in the National Vision of Canada in the 1930s.”
2017Aditi 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."
PhD THESES COMPLETED
Kathryn Simpson, Monsters in the Mirror: Strategies of Ugliness in Early-Twentieth-Century Viennese Self-Portraiture2012
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)
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.
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