Katrina-Eve N (Kat) Manica

Arts & Science Postdoctoral Fellow (she/her)

Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

  • Learning from, and respectful engagement with, Indigenous ways of knowing and being in the world
  • Nineteenth-century British Aestheticism at the intersection of imperialism(s)
  • Decolonial methodologies
  • Critical Race Theory
  • Embodied pleasure along the axes of race, sexuality, sex and gender, and class
  • Non-human animal and object entanglements
  • Material cultural history and the assertion of non-human agencies 

Name of Postdoctoral Fellowship

Julia Margaret Cameron: Inter-Racial Touches and Reverse Gazes


Between 1868 and 1879, Julia Margaret Cameron photographed Prince Alemayehu, the seven-year-old prince and heir to the Abyssinian empire (now Ethiopia), on the Isle of Wight, and she photographed people, places, and art in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Through, and developing, decolonial methods I challenge colonial symbolics to assert instances of ambivalence and resistance to imperial semantics of display and representation. This project re-asserts Alemayehu’s and her Ceylonese subjects' agency and subjectivities in these photographs. I thus demonstrate that it is through concertedly looking at this touching as inter-racial touching, especially how, and when, Alemayehu and Ceylonese subjects touch and touch back, that relationships—race, gender, and sexuality—between the figures may be untangled and renegotiated.


“An ‘Arab Room’ with View: Axel Hägg’s and William Burges’s Collaborations at Cardiff Castle”, Burges & Friends, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, UK, 2023
“Monkeys in the Library: Pleasure in the Doorway,” Universities Art Association of Canada, Banff, Canada, 2023
“Queer Erotics on, and Beyond, Tite Street: Oscar Wilde’s Cosmopolitan Designs,” Society of Architectural Historians, Montreal, Canada, 2023
“Philanthropy at Home, Empire Abroad: The Curious Shift of Imperial Sculpture,” North American Conference on British Studies, Chicago, USA, 2022
“Embroidery Fans: Digital Engagement with Objects Meant to be Handled,” Means and Materiality in the Zoom Age, Princeton University, USA, 2022


Kat is a white settler and Arts & Science Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto in Tkaronto on Turtle Island, where she is working on a monograph about race and touch in nineteenth-century British photography. Her scholarship develops decolonizing and anti-racist strategies of meaning-making in Aestheticism’s interiors, photographs, paintings, and collections. Her research and praxes strive to amplify Indigenous and nonwhite artists, activists, scholars, and writers, especially, Indigenous ways of knowing and being in worlds. She completed her PhD at the University of York under the supervision of Jason Edwards, MA at UCL under the supervision of Natasha Eaton, MA at Queen's under the supervision of Harold Mah, and her BAH at Queen's University.

Prior to her postdoctoral fellowship, Kat worked for the City of Toronto as a Toronto Urban Fellow, where she worked in Parks, Forestry & Recreation and in the Chief Planner's Office to develop strategies to decolonize city processes and policies. She was a lead author on the City Planning Division's Indigenous Engagement Summary Report and a lead author on the Parks, Forestry & Recreation's Decolonizing the Parkland Strategy.

Selected Publications

  • “Imperial Canada as Training Grounds for Empire,” Sculpture Journal 33.2 (2024).
  • “An ‘Arab Room’ with View: Burges at Cardiff Castle,” 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth-Century (forthcoming 2024).
  • “A Touch of Empire: Joseph E. Boehm’s Monument to Charles George Gordon (c.1887-1889).” The Journal of Victorian Culture (2022). https://doi.org/10.1093/jvcult/vcac028.
  • “The Death of the Last Pharaoh: Classical Bodies Seen in Ancient Egypt,” in Classical Material Culture in the Nineteenth Century: Reception, Mediation, Reimagining, edited by Victoria Mills (forthcoming Oxford University Press: 2024/5).


PhD, University of York, History of Art
MA, University College London, History of Art
MA, Queen's University, History
BAH, Queen's University, History, Art History