Lecture Series

The Department of Art History is proud to host a series of exceptional events bringing world-class researchers, educators, and artists to campus to deliver lectures and to engage in discussion.

The Department of Art History hosts a number of guest lecturers, seminars, and symposia annually. The Departmental Speaker Series features contributors from the University of Toronto and beyond covering topics across all the fields of art history. Since the series was introduced, we have enjoyed high attendance from faculty and students alike. For students, the series is a great opportunity to expose oneself to original research and take part in and become familiar with the practice of scholarly debate in the discipline of art history.

Speakers for the upcoming year will be posted as they become available. Check this page regularly for updates.

Visit the named lecture pages for additional departmental lectures and symposia:

J. Walter Graham Lecture Series

Peter H. Brieger Memorial Lecture Series

W. Bernard Herman Lecture Series

Ydessa Hendeles Art Foundation Distinguished Visitor in Fine Art

Date Speaker Title
July 14 Mantha Zarmakoupi, University of Pennsylvania "The blue marble of Greek architectural history: Delos and the Delos Symposia"
July 8 Phil Sapirstein, University of Toronto "New Technologies and Architectural Dedication at the First Doric Temple in Sicily"
March 26 Hannah Baader, Permanent Senior Research Fellow, Kunsthisorisches Institut in Florenz, Max-Planck-Institute "The King, the Mermaid and the Sea. Palermo, ca. 1220"
January 22 Charmaine A. Nelson, Canada Research Chair in Transatlantic Black Diaspora Art and Community Engagement, NSCAD University "Black Body Politics and Self-Care: Slave Dress as Resistance in Caribbean and Canadian Slavery"
Date Speaker Title
November 20 Sonal Khullar, University of Pennsylvania "Dialogic Actions: Aesthetics, Agency, and Contemporary Art from India"
October 30 Philip T. Waddell, University of Arizona "The Imperial Gaze: Focalization and Alignment in Tacitus' Annales"
October 23 Heather Igloliorte, Concordia University
Carla Taunton, NSCAD University
"New Directions in Writing Indigenous Art Histories: Theories and Methodologies for Canada and the US"
Date Speaker Title
November 4 Wanda Nanibush, Art Gallery of Ontario "Matter and Memory in Indigenous Art"
October 28 Crystal Migwans, Columbia University "Naaknashk miinawaa Naaknigewin: Art, governance, and bulrushes"
October 23 Lisa Myers, York University "Aesthetics of Evidence in the artowrk of Mike MacDonald"
March 8 Kurt W. Forster, Yale University "The Past in Gestures, the Future in Memory: Aby Warburg’s Cultural History"
March 7 Kurt W. Forster, Yale University

The John Parkin Lecture in the History of Modern Architecture: "The Birth of Architecture from the Spirit of Conversation"

January 28

Julia Lum, University of Toronto

"Landscapes of the Pacific: Art at the Meeting Places of Britain and Oceania”


Date Speaker Title
December 18 Jacques Khalip, Department of English, Brown University "Workshop on Last Things: Disastrous Form from Kant to Hujar" (Fordham, 2018)

October 24

Bernard O’Kane, The American University in Cairo

“Stars and Symmetry: The Prophet Muhammad’s Name in Architectural Inscriptions”

October 18–19 Coming to Our Senses: Sensory Methodology and Experience in the 21st Century
October 19

David Howes, Concordia University

“Sensory Ethnography: Between Art and Anthropology”

October 18

Constance Classen, Concordia University

“Collecting Our Senses: Seeing, Hearing and Touching in the Museum”

January 22

John Onians, University of East Anglia

“Strengthening the Foundations of Art History: The Discipline’s Changing Assumptions and the Relevance of Neuroscience—A Reassessment”


Date Speaker Title

October 26

Johanne Sloan, Concordia University

“Joyce Wieland: Archival Manoeuvres Then and Now”

October 5

Michelangelo Sabatino, Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture

“Beyond Wilderness: Modern Architectures in Canada”

April 3

Geoffrey Belknap, Curator of Photography and Photographic Technology, National Media Museum (UK)

“Illustrating Natural History: Images, Periodicals, and the Making of Nineteenth-Century Scientific Communities”

March 23

Phyllis Kornfeld

“Cellblock Visions: Set Free in the Penitentiary”

March 13

Rebecca Zorach, Northwestern University

“Monsters as Images and Images as Monsters in the Late Renaissance”

February 17 '…à la fausse critique’: Some Ways of Thinking about Dada and Surrealism - A Symposium in Honour of Jann Marson
  Jonathan Eburne, Pennsylvania State University “The Great Surrealist Bargain Basement”


Jennifer Wild, University of Chicago

“Execrable Narcissus: Marcel Mariën’s The Imitation of Cinema (1959)”


James Cahill, University of Toronto

“The Surrealism of Sex: Notes on L’Hippocampe”


Elizabeth Legge, University of Toronto

“A Little Falsity, and a Detour into Max Ernst”


David Hopkins, University of Glasgow

“The Surrealist Toy”


Neil Cox, University of Edinburgh

“Picasso in His Element? Surrealism in 1932”

January 9

Susan Dackerman, Getty Research Institute

“The Paleontology of Print”


Date Speaker Title

November 9

Trine Friis Sørensen, Aarhus University

“The Flash and the Spectre: The Workings of the Past in a Performance by Olof Olsson”

September 26

Samuel Spinner, Johns Hopkins University

“Moi Ver and the Jewish Vernacular of Avant-Garde Photography”

February 11

Elizabeth Harney, University of Toronto

“Retro-Modernism and the Making of Contemporary African Art”

February 9

Stephan Hoppe, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich

“Urbino, Meissen, Burghausen. Three 15th-Century Palaces and the New Search for Antique Grandeur”

January 25

Stephen Campbell, Johns Hopkins University

“Against Titian”


Date Speaker Title

December 3

Amanda Boetzkes, University of Guelph

“Ecologicity: Perception, Sense-Effects and Aesthetic Appreciation”

March 5

Michael Leja

“Early Mass Culture’s Image Ecology”


Date Speaker Title

October 28

Stephen Forcer, University of Birmingham

“I’m Just Bored to Tears by Books About the History of Dada: New Approaches to the Dada Movement”

March 21

Cynthia Osiecki, University of Greifswald

“The Language of Sculptures: The Spread of the Floris-Style in the Baltic Sea Regions (c. 1560–1648)”

Ferbuary 13 A Methodology Colloquium: Approaches to Northern Early Modern Art


Elisabeth Neumann

“The Politics of Geography: Europe and the Continents in 16th-Century Antwerp”


Tianna Uchacz

“Narrative and the Nude in Netherlandish Painting c. 1550”


Angela Glover

 “Habitus of the Body / Affordance of the Object: The Choirstall c. 1500”


Olenka Horbatsch

 “The Anthropological Concept of Novelty and Early Netherlandish Printmaking”


Tara Bissett

“Frame to Subject: The Idea of Architecture in 16th-Century France”


Date Speaker Title

April 9

Shalom Sabar, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

“Rembrandt’s Hebrew Script: The Artist and Amsterdam’s Jews Between Myth and Reality”

March 26

Joyce Goggin, University of Amsterdam

“Futurity and the ‘Art’ of Gunther von Hagens”

March 14

Nicole Blackwood, University of Toronto

“Unique Multiples: Picturing the Inuit in Elizabethan England”

March 7

Maria Loh, University College, London

“A Ghost is Born”

February 21

John Onians, University of East Anglia, Norwich

“European Art from Prehistory to the Present: A Neuroarthistory”

January 29

Steven Harris, University of Alberta

“Reimagining the Relation Between Poetics and Politics in Postwar Europe”


Date Speaker Title

November 6

David Carrier, University of Pittsburgh

“Wild Art”

October 30

Allison Morehead, Queen’s University

“Collecting and Exhibiting at the Musée de la folie”

September 21

Sarah Semple, Durham University

“Perceptions of the Prehistoric in Anglo-Saxon England: Religion, Ritual, and Rulership in the Lanscape”

April 9

Ara H. Merjian, Stanford University

“The Objects of Architecture: Le Corbusier, Purism, and Metaphysical Painting, 1918–24”

March 15–18 The Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting


Adrian Favell, Institut d’études politiques de Paris

“Before and After Superflat: Contemporary Art in the Post-Bubble, Post-Disaster Society”

March 8

Giancarla Periti, University of Toronto

“The Cassinese Art of Reform in Renaissance Italy”

January 17

Jordan Bear, University of Toronto

“That Signature Style: Francis Frith and the Rise of Corporate Photographic Authorship”


Date Speaker Title

December 6

Christy Anderson, University of Toronto

“Four Short Stories about Stone”

November 30

Marja Lahelma, University of Helsinki

“The Self as Source: Inwardness and the Image of the Artist at the Fin-de-siècle”

November 3

Aimée Brown Price

“Pierre Puvis de Chavannes and the Invention of Modernism: Quizzical Paintings and Misérabilisme”

November 1

Adam S. Cohen, University of Toronto

“New Observations on the English Benedictine Reform”

October 28

Dick Hebdige, University of California, Santa Barbara

“After Punk, After Love: From Malcolm McLaren to Takashi Murakami”

March 31

Christopher Green, Courtauld Institute of Art

“Unknown Masterpieces: Picasso’s Cubism, 1910–12”

March 22

Koenraad Jonckheere, University of Ghent

“Visual Oecumene: Decorum Experiments in Antwerp Painting After the Iconoclasm (1566)”

March 11–12

31st Canadian Conference on Medieval Art Historians

March 4

Mirian Arbus, Max Berg, Brett Bergmann, Nelson Cheng, Francisco Granados, Tarnjeev Guram, Matt Macintosh, Bariman Mousavi, Faye Mullen, Wanda Nanibush, Katherine Porter, Mohammed Soroor, Chris Wanless

“Spectacle and Impermanence: The Students Respond”

February 17

Katrin Kogman-Appel, Ben Gurion University

“Joel ben Simeon: Scribe, Artist, and Agent of Cultural Exchange”

January 28

Lane Relyea, Northwestern University

“CSI versus DIY: Photography between Aftermath and Aftermarket”


Date Speaker Title
November 18 Anna Gruetzner Robbins, University of Reading “Michael Field and Female Desire: Looking at Botticelli and Manet in the 1890s”
November 5–19 Spectacle and Impermanence: A Tri-Campus Event Series Curated by Tom Bessai and Lisa Steele

Kent Monkman with Gisele Gordon (November 19)


Tanya Mars (November 12)

“Six Images in Search of An Artist”


Gordan Monahan (November 5)

“Space Becomes the Instrument”

November 4 Richard Schiff, University of Texas “Spectacle and Impermanence: Cezanne: Subject to Abstraction”
November 2 Anne Wagner, Henry Moore Foundation Research Curator, Tate Britain “Women’s Time: Martin and Truitt in the Moment of Minimalism”
October 8 Wayne Franits, University of Syracuse “A Tale of Two Canvases: Vermeer’s Astronomer and Geographer”


Date Speaker Title
September 22 Neil Cox, University of Essex “Picasso’s ‘Toys for Adults’: Cubism as Surrealism”
September 17 David Hopkins, University of Glasgow “Marcel Duchamp’s Etant Donnés and the Rhetoric of Liberty”
March 19 Carl Knappett, University of Toronto “Networks of People, Networks of Things: A Prehistoric Look at Our Contemporary Materialism”
March 5 Beyond van Eyck: Netherlandish Painting at the Turn of the Sixteenth Century
  Ethan Matt Kavaler, University of Toronto “Jan Gossaert as Architect”
  Ellen Konowitz, State University of New “Renaissance Stained Glass as Material Culture”
  Ron Spronk, Queen’s University “Outside the Box: Reconstructing Jan Provoost’s Triptych for the Jerusalem Chapel in Bruges”
February 23 Giles Knox, Indiana University Bloomington “Eggs, Water, Metal: Velázquez, the Paragone, and the Products of Pratica”


Date Speaker
2009 April 8 Victor Burgin, Goldsmiths College, London
2009 April 1 Jody Berland, York University
2009 February 26 Elizabeth Harney, University of Toronto
2009 February 5 Jim Drobnick and Jennifer Fisher, Montreal-Based Artists and Theorists
2009 January 22 Philip Monk, Art Gallery of York University
2008 December 4 Vera Frenkel, Toronto-Based Multi-Disciplinary Artist
2008 November 24 Nikki Lee, New York Based-Photographer and Louis Kaplan, University of Toronto


Date Speaker Title
March 10 AA Bronson “School for Young Shamans”
February 12 Kajri Jain, University of Toronto “Infantile Body Politics and Porno-Brahmins: Indian Calendar Art’s Vernacularization of Public and Private”
January 22 John Paul Ricco, University of Toronto “US to Come: Towards Non-Consensual Futures’ on the Work of the Contemporary Italian Video Artist, Francesco Vezzoli”


Date Speaker
2006 March 30 Eduardo Cadava, Princeton University
2006 March 16 John Mighton, Toronto Playwright and Mathematician
2006 March 2 Alison Syme, University of Toronto
2006 February 2 Sara Diamond, Ontario College of Arts and Design
2006 January 19 Atom Egoyan, Filmmaker
2005 November 24 Stephen Bann, University of Bristol
2005 November 3 Simon Glass, Photo-Based Artist


Date Speaker Title
October 13 Sturt Manning, University of Toronto “The Future of Aegean Prehistory and the Problem of Archaeology versus Science”


Date Speaker Title
November 7–8 Editing (out?) the Image (Conference convened by Elizabeth Legge and Mark A. Cheetham)

Catherine Soussloff, University of California, Santa Cruz

“Image (less) Text: Visual and Verbal Rhetoric in Early Modern Art History”
  Marc Gotlieb, University of Toronto “Disciplinary Journals in An Interdisciplinary Age: The Art Bulletin and Art History”
  John Onians, University of East Anglia, Norwich “Editing In: World Art Studies and the Constraints of Academic Disciplines”
  John Greyson “Mr. Blank Edits History”
  Reesa Greenberg, Université de Montréal “Editing the Image: Museums and the Web”
  Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczakm, University of Toronto “Edit In…Edit Out: Collaboration in Video Production”
  John O’Brian, University of British Columbia “Rectified Smiles: Signs of Distress in the Postwar Postcard”
  David Carrier, Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Institute of Art “The Art Museum as Installation: An Interpretation of the Place of Matisse’s The Joy of Life in the Barnes Foundation”