Debra Hanson

Assistant Professor

Contact

+974 4402 0619
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Specialization

American Art and Visual Culture

Education

  • PhD Virginia Commonwealth University
  • MFA East Carolina University
  • BA Mary Washington College

Biography

Debra Hanson is an art historian specializing in American Art and Visual Culture of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, with particular emphasis on the art and architecture of the US Capitol and the work of Thomas Eakins, and secondary areas of interest relating to the late nineteenth century World’s Fairs. She received her PhD in Art History from Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in 2005, and is currently an Assistant Professor of Art History at VCU’s Middle Eastern campus in Doha, Qatar, where she teaches a range of upper level art history classes on topics such as “America in Art and Film” and “Gateways to Globalism: The 19th Century World’s Fairs.” She is also Assistant Director of the Honors Program at VCUQatar.

Dr Hanson has been awarded numerous fellowships from the US Capitol Historical Society to conduct research at the Capitol, and has written and presented extensively on the intersections of art, architectural space, politics, and historical memory within the Capitol, topics addressed in her current book project entitled Looking Westward:Views of the West from Capitol Hill.

Research Interests

  • Art and Architecture of the U.S. Capitol
  • The 19th Century World's Fairs
  • Art of Thomas Eakins

Publications

2016

“East Meets West: Representing the Islamic World at the 19th Century World’s Fairs,” in Beyond the Crystal Palace: Nationalism and Internationalism at the World’s Fairs 1855-1900, ed. David Raizman (London: Ashgate Publishing, expected publication date , summer 2016).
BOOK CHAPTER

Session Chair, College Art Association Annual Meeting, Washington, DC.
Session: “Public Art and Historical Memory in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda”

2015

Latrobe Chapter, Society of Architectural Historians “Art in Architecture, Architecture in Art” conference, Washington, DC.
Session: Murals and Public Artworks
Paper:“Image, Space, and the Shaping of Historical Memory in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda”
CONFERENCE PAPER

"Music as Muse: Thomas Eakins's Realist Agenda in Elizabeth at the Piano," in Rival Sisters: Art and Music at the Birth of Modernism, 1815-1900, ed. James Rubin                                              
(London: Ashgate Publishing, 2015), 133-149.   BOOK CHAPTER

2014

Richmond the International University, “Re-Visioning the Urban Imagination: The Art and Politics of Redevelopment” conference, London, England           
Paper: “The Museum and the City: Re-Visioning the Urban in Doha, Qatar”
CONFERENCE PAPER

“Escaped Slaves and Contrabands: Picturing the Civil War in Virginia,”
National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute Blog                                     

“The Visual Culture of the American Civil War” NEH Summer Institute Colloquium
New York Historical Society, New York, NY
Paper: “Riding for Liberty: Eastman Johnson on Slavery and Freedom”
NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES (NEH) SUMMER INSTITUTE ON THE “VISUAL CULTURE OF THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR”
SELECTED SCHOLAR-PARTICIPANT  

“The Turbulent Mind: Madness, Moods, and Melancholy in the Art of the 19th Century”     
Ghent Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent, Belgium
Session:  Artist’s Self-Construction and Self-Fashioning
Paper: “Thomas Eakins: Constructing the Melancholic Body”
CONFERENCE PAPER

"Orientalism Today: Re-Visions and Re-Makings," Tasmeem: An International Design Journal, QFBloomsbury Press, Spring 2014. Access: http://dx.doi.org/10.5339/tasmeem.2013.5
PUBLISHED ARTICLE

2013

US Capitol Historical Society, Washington D.C. Public Forum Series
Paper: "Daniel Boone at the Capitol: Representation, Identity, and Politics"
Broadcast, posted on the C-span website: http://www.c-span.org/video/?314322-1/Boonei
C-SPAN TELEVISED PRESENTATION

2012

SECAC/ South East College Art Conference, Durham, NC
Session:  The Artist's Family
Paper: "Re-Constructing the Postwar Family: Presence and Absence in Thomas  
Eakins's Home Scene"
CONFERENCE PAPER

Tocqueville Fellows Conference , University of Richmond, Va.
Session: Things in Motion/ Transnational America (panel participant and presenter)
Paper: "Transnational Neoclassicism: Three Case Studies at the U.S. Capitol"

Nineteenth Century Studies Association Annual Conference, Asheville, N.C.
Paper: "Visualizing 'The Religion of the World's Fairs' at the
Great London Exhibition of 1851"

2011

Curators' Session/Research in Progress at the V&A, Victoria and Albert Museum,
London, England   (invited speaker)
Paper: "Representing the Islamic World at the Great London Exhibition of 1851"

College Art Association Annual Conference, New York City
Session: "Music and Other Paradigms for Nineteenth Century Art"
Paper: "Music as Muse:  TheRealist Agenda of Thomas Eakins' Elizabeth at the Piano"

2010

Public Lecture sponsored by the US Capitol Historical Society, Washington DC
Paper: “Muralists of the United States Capitol”  Broadcast and posted on C-span 3 website

“Visualizing History: The Westward Expansion Corridor in the United States Capitol,”
The Capitol Dome, Research edition, Summer 2010

Honors

2014             

National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute awardee/participant
“The Visual Culture of the American Civil War” New York, NY, July 2014

Virginia Commonwealth University Faculty Research Grant

Virginia Center for Humanities Research, Summer Research Grant

2010-2013

Tocqueville Fellow, Tocqueville Seminars for Transnational American Studies
sponsored by the Andrew Mellon Foundation, administered by University of Richmond, Va.

2010, 2005

Distinguished Faculty Award, University of Richmond

Professional Service

  • Association of Historians of American Art
  • Association of Historians of 19th Century Art
  • Southeast College Art Conference
  • College Art Association
  • American Studies Association
  • Tocqueville Fellows
  • US Capitol Historical Society