Karla Kit McManus
Assistant Professor of Visual Arts (Art History), Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance, University of Regina
How are you applying your degree in Art History from Concordia?
I use my art history training every day in my teaching, researching, and writing about art. My degree in art history from Concordia helped me develop my skills as a writer, teacher, researcher, and thinker in fundamental ways. These are skills and techniques that I bring into the classroom.
What do you value most from your Art History experience?
Beyond learning about the diversity of approaches to studying art and its history, Concordia gave me access to a larger community of art historians who have helped me feel like a member of a group of interesting, challenging, and thoughtful people who care about the world! Understanding that art history is more than just writing a paper, or sitting by yourself reading, or quietly looking at art in a gallery, was an important learning experience for me. Being part of the Concordia art history community helped me to figure out my place in the larger academic world and gave me valuable mentors, friends, and colleagues who have taught me a lot about collaboration, community, and academic life.
Is there a particular memory that stands out from your time at Concordia?
I have really fond memories of working on a research project under my supervisor, Martha Langford, on the history of Canadian photography with a group of other photography history students. It was such a practical experience, learning to do research together, but also a challenging and stimulating one in which we debated, disagreed, and developed a model for our project in collaboration.
What advice would you give to someone considering graduate studies in Art History?
The bilingual environment of the Montreal art history community offers students the opportunity to study in both English and French and to learn more about the different historical, pedagogical, and epistemic approaches to art history that have developed in the greater Canadian context. The chance to engage with a diversity of art historical ideas, including Indigenous and ethnocultural methodologies, is one of the major strengths of Concordia’s art history environment. This contributed to my experience in ways that I really cherished.