The study of art history has long been associated with elitism. Its objects of inquiry have often reflected the tastes and desires of such patrons, and for much of the field’s history, its knowledge producers also came from privilege. Calls to include the material culture of non-elites, and to decolonize the history of art are not new. However, the urgency to do so has been heightened in recent years, reflecting the call for racial equality brought to the foreground by the Black Lives Matter Movement, and the rise of Anti-Asian sentiments in America.

This roundtable brings together professors, academics and curators who have partnered with Smarthistory to envision a more equitable and diverse art history. Smarthistory is a digital platform that styles itself as a “Center for Public Art History.” During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, when many classrooms went online, the platform had over 50 million users, and since then, several art history departments have elected to forgo the traditional textbook for Smarthistory’s online textbook. This roundtable will tackle difficult but important questions such as: how do we create a more equitable art history? Whose art history gets to be told, and who gets to tell it? What do students need, and want do teachers want? Our hope is to have a critical and rich dialogue with each other, and with attendees.


About the Speakers

Dr. Amanda Herring is Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Art History at LMU. She is also the Contributing Editor for ancient Greek art for Smarthistory. Her research examines sculpture and architecture of the Hellenistic Greek world as well as the history of archaeology in the Ottoman Empire and the reception of the classical past in the modern world. Her recent publications include chapters on ancient Greek art for Smarthistory's Reframing Art History textbook and articles in American Journal of Archaeology and Anatolian Studies.

Dr. Lauren Kilroy-Ewbank is Dean of Content and Strategy at Smarthistory. She is also the General Editor of Reframing Art History. As a strong advocate of public art history and digital art history pedagogy, she has been a long-time collaborator with Smarthistory as a content contributor, content editor, and board member. Lauren was previously associate professor of art history at Pepperdine University. She has taught at California State University, Long Beach, Brooklyn College (CUNY), the Graduate Century (also CUNY), the University of Oregon, and UCLA. Her research primarily focuses on the visual culture of Spain, Latin America, and the southwestern U.S. between 1400 and 1800, considering issues of colonialism, transculturalism, Indigenous agency, gender, censorship, globalization, and emotions. 

Dr. Kristen Loring Brennan is an art historian specializing in Chinese painting and garden imagery. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, and an M.A. from Harvard University. She is the author of Hua Yan (1682–1756) and the Making of the Artist in Early Modern China (Brill, 2020) and the co-edited volume (with Lara C. W. Blanchard, Hobart and William Smith Colleges) Gender, Continuity, and the Shaping of Modernity in the Arts of East Asia, 16th–20th Centuries (Brill, 2018). Her essays concern social status, gender, and visual culture in early modern China, and appear in journals including Artibus Asiae, Visual Resources, Archives of Asian Art. Her translations appear in publications including Contemporary Chinese Art: Primary Documents (Museum of Modern Art, 2010). 

Dr. Melody Rod-ari is Associate Professor and Chair of Art History at LMU. She is also the Southeast Asian Content Editor for Smarthistory as well as an active curator who has organized exhibitions and permanent galleries for the Norton Simon Museum and the USC, Pacific Asia Museum. Her research investigates modern and contemporary Buddhist visual culture in Thailand, and the history of collecting South and Southeast Asian art in American and European museums. Her work has been published by various journals and university presses and include topics such as “Who Owns Ban Chiang?: The Discovery, Collection and Repatriation of Ban Chiang Artefacts” (NUS Press, 2019) and “The Origins of the Emerald Buddha” (DK Printworld, 2020). 

Dr. Marika Sardar is a specialist in South Asian and Islamic art who has held positions at the Aga Khan Museum, Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, the San Diego Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her most recent publication, with John Seyller and Audrey Truschke, is on a 16th century, Persian-language copy of the Ramayana made at the Mughal court entitled The Ramayana of Hamida Banu Begum: Queen Mother of Mughal India (Silvana Editoriale, 2021).

About KaleidoLA

KaleidoLA is the Department of Art and Art History’s annual guest speaker series. For the past eleven years, KaleidoLA has been a vital connection between Loyola Marymount University and the Los Angeles arts community. For more information about our Spring events, contact Dr. Melody Rod-ari, Associate Professor and Chair of Art History,

Please RSVP for reminders:

Zoom: Meeting ID 831 0583 6503

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