How we assigned the specializations to our faculty data
We asked departments to designate a single specialization for each appointment from an institutional perspective. While every appointment satisfies multiple curricular desiderata, we asked if, for example, you hired a historian of Canadian Photography studied from a feminist perspective, what was the first non-negotiable criterion in that search: photography? Canadian art? Feminism/Gender studies? For each and every faculty member we designated this way (we often ended up making the choice based on the faculty profile) this choice significantly reduces a more varied and nuanced research and teaching profile. When we made the designations ourselves we operated with a few biases: we were looking for positions that prioritized Canadian art, Quebec art, Indigenous art and tended to use these designations over others. We were also looking for departments that hired a global art history faculty and tended to designate by region (i.e. we chose African art over modernism for scholars working on global modernity). Inevitably strong theoretical allegiances reflected in our categories were obscured by period or geographic designations. Visual Culture was difficult category to assign as we felt universities probably prioritized geographical diversity or period coverage over the approach. For all of the acknowledged problems with this approach, the reduction to one subfield nonetheless enabled us to get a general overview of the priorities and curricular range of departments while leaving it to the departments to add nuance to this blunt set of categories in their narrative accounts.
Call to Art Historians to Write the History of their Specialization
We invite specialists to collaborate with colleagues an account of their specialization in Canada.