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Kalamazoo College
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Current Fellow

Christine Hahn, PhD
Christine Hahn

In the summer of 1997, I flew to Seoul to visit my parents, who had recently returned to South Korea after 27 years of living in the United States.  I had just begun my graduate work in art history at the time, and so my family and friends were eager to take me to the art museums and galleries that dot Seoul’s frenetic landscape.  As we went from place to place, I became fascinated with what I was seeing:  a distinct and vibrant art world that despite its vitality was absent from the art history curricula I had studied as an undergraduate and graduate student. 

That realization began to shape my graduate work, setting the stage for my doctoral dissertation and subsequent research on the development of South Korean painting in the 1950s and 60s, a period marked by the aftermath of a devastating civil war and division of the peninsula.  South Korean artists worked within an international milieu that was entwined with that of Western Europe and the United States, and yet like so many of the artists who practice on the periphery, were largely left outside of the dominant narrative that shapes the discourse of the discipline. 

My interest in the questions around what gets taught in art history, and how it gets taught, has only continued to grow since arriving at Kalamazoo College in the fall of 2008.  A fellowship from the ACSJL in 2010 allowed me to develop a new course on the relationship between race, gender, and the built environment (ART295:  Architecture, Urbanism, and Identity).  Over the next two years, I will be working on a project that at its core asks the question:  what would an antiracist art history curriculum look like?  The fellowship will allow me to read widely and deeply on literature concerning critical pedagogy and scholarship on the intersection of art history and social justice, draft a publication on the state of the field of undergraduate art history curricula in this regard, and ultimately, redesign the existing introductory survey sequence in art history using an antiracist framework.

Pronouns: She/her/hers