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Dr Marika Knowles

Lecturer in Art History

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Marika Takanishi Knowles joined the School of Art History as a Lecturer in 2018. She studies French art of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. Her particular interests lie in the relationships between visual art, theater, and literature, as well as the influence of courtly and performative sociability on figuration. She has just completed a book manuscript, The Real Performer: Encountering the Human Figure in French Art (1613-1648), which will be published by the University of Delaware Press in 2020.In addition to this project, which studies the representation of the human figure as a performative social type, she has written and published on the pea-pod as ornamental motif in seventeenth-century goldsmithing, the photography of Nadar and nineteenth-century Boulevard pantomime, Théophile Gautier and visual culture of the Cenacle du Doyenné, the representation of affect in Édouard Manet’s The Old Musician, and Gérard de Nerval’s images of young women in Les Filles du Feu.

Currently, she is editing a collection of essays about the representation of the fragment in the nineteenth-century French visual and literary imaginary. She is also co-editing a special issue of the journal Res on the theme of “la parade.” Her ongoing research projects are focused on Jacques Callot, Romantic media aesthetics, the representation of pieces of paper in word and image, and Degas’ “bureau pictures.” Her doctorate is from Yale University. Between 2015 and 2018, she was a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. She was Assistant Professor of Art History at Grinnell College, in Iowa, from 2013-2015.

Publications and activities