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Rebecca Howard

Visiting Assistant Professor, Art History

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244F Art & Communication
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Rebecca Howard

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Biography

Dr. Rebecca M. Howard received her Ph.D. in Early Modern Art History in 2017 as a Presidential Fellow at The Ohio State University. She also received her M.A. from Ohio State and her B.A. from Christopher Newport University. Her research interests include portraiture, expressions of identity, memory, early modern studies of the brain and anatomy, word and image theory, and mnemonic tactics and commemorative devices. Other research and teaching interests include early modern garden and villa designs, Ancient Egyptian influences in Renaissance Italy, and global paths of exchange in the early modern world. She is currently editing her first book project, Portraiture and Mnemonics in Renaissance Italy: Commemoration through Body and Brain, which is under contract with Amsterdam University Press. Her pedagogical interests in cross-cultural currents in the early modern world recently led to an essay contribution for the forthcoming pedagogical resource, Teaching Race in the European Renaissance: A Classroom Guide. In addition, she has published articles on topics related to portraiture and commemoration in the Journal of Material Culture, Source: Notes in the History of Art, and Studies in the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes, to name a few.

Education

  • Ph.D., History of Art, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 2017 (Dissertation: “Movements of the Mind: Beyond the Mimetic Likeness in Early Modern Italy”)
  • M.A., History of Art, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 2011 (M.A. Paper: “The Renaissance Hieroglyph: Humanist Aspirations to Immortality”)
  • B.A., Fine Arts: Art History, Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA, 2008, Magna Cum Laude

Research Interests

  • Renaissance and Baroque Art
  • Portraiture and Identity
  • Fashion and Self-Fashioning
  • Memory, Mnemonics, and Commemorative Devices
  • Word and Image Theory

Publications / Books

  • Book manuscript revisions in progress, Portraiture and Mnemonics in Renaissance Italy: Commemoration through Body and Brain, under contract with Amsterdam University Press.

Publications / Articles

  • “Interactive Commemoration in the Sacro Bosco,” Studies in the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes, Winter 2020, vol. 40, no. 3-4, pp. 216-226.
  • “The Sitter’s Impression: Memory and Early Modern Portrait Medallions,” Journal of Material Culture, 2019, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 293-312.
  • “A Mnemonic Reading of Botticelli’s Portrait of a Man with a Medal,” Source: Notes in the History of Art, Summer 2019, vol. 38, no. 4, pp. 196-205.

Publications / Pedagogical Resources

  • “Whitewashing the Whitewashed Renaissance: Italian Renaissance Art through a Kapharian Lens,” in edited volume, Teaching Race in the European Renaissance: A Classroom Guide, ed. Anna Wainwright and Matthieu Chapman, Arizona Center of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, forthcoming.
  • “Botticelli, Portrait of a Man with a Medal of Cosimo il Vecchio de’ Medici,” essay for Smarthistory, June 2020, https://smarthistory.org/botticelli-portrait-man-with-medal/.
  • “Hugo van der Goes, Portinari Altarpiece,” essay for Smarthistory, August 2020, https://smarthistory.org/van-der-goes-portinari/.

Publications / Book Reviews

  • Review of Pietro Bembo and the Intellectual Pleasures of a Renaissance Writer and Art Collector, by Susan Nalezyty, The Sixteenth Century Journal: The Journal of Early Modern Studies, Fall 2018, vol. xlix, no. 3, pp. 951-953.

Employment History

  • 2019-present, University of Memphis, Visiting Assistant Professor of Early Modern Art History
  • 2018-2019, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Visiting Lecturer of Early Modern Art History
  • 2017-2018, Georgia State University, Visiting Lecturer of Early Modern Art History
  • 2011-2016, The Ohio State University, Graduate Teaching Associate of Art History

Conference Presentations / Panels / Invited Talks

  • “Balthazar in Context: Black Africans in Early Modern Europe,” Race, Art History, and the Museum, Café Conversations Mini-Series with the Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, 2021
  • “The Istoriated Portrait of Early Modern Italy: The Interlocutor Teaches Itself,” Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, 2021
  • “Body, Brain, Heart: Memory in Early Modern European Art,” Panel Organizer, Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, April 2021
  • “Renaissance Portraiture,” Café Conversation with the Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, 2021
  • “Lake Como to the Dialogo: Paolo Giovio’s Public Portrait Collections,” SECAC Annual Conference, 2020
  • “Sacro Bosco as Interactive Emblem,” Sixteenth Century Society Annual Conference, 2019
  • “The Impresa: Expanding the Early Modern Portrait,” International Conference in Paragone Studies, 2018
  • “A Mnemonic Reading of Botticelli’s Portrait of a Man with a Medal,” South-Central Renaissance Conference, 2018
  • “Portrait Body, Viewer’s Body: Anthropomorphizing the Covered Portrait,” Sixteenth Century Society Annual Conference, 2017
  • “Beyond Likeness: Portraiture in Sixteenth-Century Italy,” Panel Organizer, Sixteenth Century Society Annual Conference, 2017
  • “Early Modern Memory and the Role of the Portrait Medallion,” Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, 2017
  • “The Sitter’s Impression: Vision, Memory, and Early Modern Portrait Medallions,” College Art Association Annual Conference, 2017
  • “Navigating between the Undergraduate and Graduate Research Worlds” Keynote Address, Paideia Undergraduate and Graduate Annual Research Conference, Christopher Newport University (Newport News, VA, April 2016)
  • “Traversing the Space of the Memory House: Commemoration Through Space in Early Modern Italian Portraits,” Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, 2016
  • “Alberti’s Disembodied Eye: Embodying Memory and Vision Theory,” Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, 2014
  • “The Italian Impresa: Symbol of a Global Europe” Sixteenth Century Society Annual Conference, 2013
  • “Perpetual Fame: Secured with a Dolphin and an Anchor,” Sixteenth Century Society Annual Conference, 2012
  • “Leonardo’s Rebus: Moving Beyond the Word-Image Paragone,” Inaugural International Conference in Paragone Studies, 2012
  • “The Renaissance Hieroglyph: Humanist Aspirations to Immortality,” Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, 2012

Awards / Honors / Fellowships

  • 2016-2017, Presidential Fellowship, The Ohio State University
  • 2017, Career Development Grant, Council of Graduate Students, The Ohio State University
  • 2015, Graduate Associate Teaching Award Nomination, The Ohio State University
  • 2015, Alumni Grant for Graduate Research and Scholarship, The Ohio State University
  • 2015, Nicholas G. Howe Memorial Scholarship, Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, The Ohio State University
  • 2015, 2012, Cathleen M. Murnane Travel Scholarship Fund, History of Art Department, The Ohio State University
  • 2015, 2013, 2012, The Ohio State University Arts & Humanities Graduate Research Travel Grant
  • 2015, 2013, 2012, 2010, Sara Pyne & Aida Cannarsa Snow Memorial Fund in the Visual Arts, History of Art Department, The Ohio State University
  • 2014, Edward J. Ray Travel Award for Scholarship and Service, Council of Graduate Students, The Ohio State University
  • 2008, J. Michael Erhardt Memorial Scholarship Fund in Fine Art and Art History, Christopher Newport University
  • 2007, Helen Fecher Alexick Art Endowed Scholarship, Christopher Newport University
  • 2007-present, Kappa Pi Honorary Art Society, Alumni Chapter

Selected Professional Activities

  • Faculty Senate Representative, Department of Art, University of Memphis, 2021-present
  • Chair, Emerging Scholars Committee, Italian Art Society, 2021-present
  • Faculty Co-Advisor, Art History Tigers, Registered Student Organization, University of Memphis, 2021-present
  • Eradicating Racism and Promoting Social Justice Initiative, Work Group: Fostering a Sense of Belonging and Support for All, Committee Member, University of Memphis, 2020-present
  • Faculty Co-Advisor, Graduate Student Symposium, University of Memphis, 2020-present
  • Visiting Lecturers Committee, Department of Art, University of Memphis, 2020-present
  • Invited Guest Juror, Art History Paper Competition, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 2020
  • Foundation Officer, New Foundation for Art History (www.nfah.org), 2019-present
  • Exhibition Consultant, Visions of the End (1000-1600), Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 2018-2019
  • Emerging Scholars Committee Member, Italian Art Society, 2018-2021

Professional Affiliations

  • College Art Association
  • Italian Art Society
  • Renaissance Society of America
  • Sixteenth Century Society
  • Society for Paragone Studies