Kathleen Pierce, PhD
Art History | Visual Culture | Medical/Health Humanities | 19th/20th-Century French Empire



June 2024 | “Mapping Viral Passages: Experimental Animals, Kinship, and Pathology at the Imperial Institut Pasteur,” Zoonotic Collecting: Perspectives from the Humanities, Social Sciences and Life Sciences, 4th annual conference of The Global War Against the Rat and the Epistemic Emergence of Zoonosis project, University of St. Andrews

Past (Selected):

2024 | “The Orangutan in the Wardian Case: Making Natural Knowledge and Visibilizing Animal Subjectivities between the Garden, the Museum, and the Scientific Journal,” The Greenhouse Effect: Atmospheres of the Botanical Humanities, Smith College

2024 | “The Politics of Relevancy: What is the Value of Art History Today?,” affiliated session for the Services to Historians of Visual Arts committee, College Art Association conference, 112th meeting, Chicago, IL

2024 | "Seeing Spots: Pattern, Pathological Skin, and the Cubist Surface," University of Essex, Philosophical, Historical and Interdisciplinary Studies Seminar Series

2023 | “Representing Animality, Intimacy, and Affect in the Fin-de-Siècle Experimental Medical Laboratory,” for the seminar “Les Origines et Usages de l’Experimentation Animale dans la Psychiatrie Biologique” sponsored by the Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale, Paris and the Université de Tours

2023 | “‘All of Paris has Paraded Before Them’: Scientific Knowledge Production, Hypervisibility, and Animal Subjectivities in the Fin-de-Siècle Park,” Southeastern College Art Conference, Richmond, VA

2023 | “Affective Encounters: Representing Multispecies Intimacies in the Experimental Laboratory,” at the meeting of the International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology, Toronto, Canada

2023 | “Affecting Encounters: Reading Multispecies Intimacies in Medical Photography Periodicals and Belonging,” 11th International European Society for Periodical Research (ESPRit) Conference, Leeds, UK

2023 | Discussant, “Digital Humanities and the Future of Art History,” affiliated session for the Services to Historians of Visual Arts Committee, College Art Association conference, 111th Annual Meeting, New York, NY

2022 | “Reading Fragmented Bodies Across Art and Medicine: Wax-Cast Moulages, Cubism, and the Problem of Visual Certainty,” at the conference "Wax bodies. Histories of clinical and artistic uses of syphilis ceroplastics,” organized by the project “Neverending Infectious Diseases: the Case of Syphilis” supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Université de Genève, the Hôpitaux Universitaires Genève, and the Université de Strasbourg

2022 | “Intermedial Authority: Re-Presenting Public Health in Fin-de-Siècle Prophylactic Cinema,” at the 10th International Health Humanities Consortium Conference, virtually co-hosted by the Center for Health Humanities, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences; the Center for Literature and Medicine, Hiram College; and the Health, Medicine, and Society Program, Lehigh University

2022 | “‘This Skin Disease of Poorly Maintained Cities’: Pasted Paper, Surface Layers, and Pathological Skin,” talk for the seminar “Gestes d’images” at the Institut National de l’Histoire de l’Art, Paris

2021 | “A Photography of Restraint: Scientific Knowledge, Animal Subjectivity, and Medical Authority in the Annales de l’Institut Pasteur,” in the panel Contagion, Medicine, and Revival, at the Nineteenth-Century French Studies Conference, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., winner of the Larry Schehr Memorial Award.

2021 | “Resisting Simian Subjects: Power and Protest in the Fin-de-Siècle Visual Culture of Medicine,” at the 34th Annual Conference for the Society for the Study of French History, “Power, Protest and Resistance,” hosted by H-France and in collaboration with the Society for the Study of French History and the University of Westminster. 

2021 | “New Spaces for a New Midwifery at the Lying-In Hospital of the City of New York,” at “Space and the Hospital,” a virtual conference hosted by the International Network for the History of Hospitals (INHH) and the “Hospitalis: Hospital Architecture in Portugal at the Dawn of Modernity” and “Royal Hospital of All Saints: city and public health” research projects.

2021 | “Doctor’s Orders: Chocolate and the Commodification of Medical Knowledge in the French Empire,” in the panel Coffee or chocolate? The art and design of colonial conquest, hosted digitally by the College Art Association, 109th Annual Meeting, New York, NY

2020 | "Violence in the Laboratory: Figuring Simian Subjects in Experimental Medicine,” in the panel Forms of Violence, at the Southeastern College Art Conference, digitally hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts, Richmond, VA

2020 | “Surface Layers and the Syphilitic Body: Gender, Race, and the Veiling of Visuality in Early Twentieth-Century France,” Veiling the Body: Cloth, Skin, Membrane, Paper, digitally hosted by the John Rylands Research Institute, University of Manchester

2019 | Panel Co-Chair, “Using (or Losing) the Art History Textbook,” the Southeastern College Art Conference, Chattanooga, TN, a review of this panel was published by Art History Teaching Resources Weekly 

2019 | “Fin-de-Siècle Posters as Collage: Pasted Paper, Surface Layers, and Skins,” Disrupting Narratives: New Perspectives on Collage, Collage Research Network, Edinburgh College of Art

2019 “Dissecting Vision: Cubism, Medical Image Making, and the Modernist Surface,” College Art Association, 107th Annual Meeting, New York

2018 “Pocked: Pattern and the Diseased Surface in Fin-de-Siècle Visual Culture,” the Southeastern College Art Conference, Birmingham, AL 

2018 | “Aping Illness: Visualizing Excessive Simian Subjects in Experimental Medicine,” Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Supernumerary Conference, “Measure and Excess,” hosted by Roma Tre University and John Cabot University, Rome

2018 | Discussant, “Inter/Dependency: A Symposium on the Medical Humanities,” Panel 2: “Seeing,” Center for Cultural Analysis, Rutgers University

2017 | “Picturing the Pathological Surface: Syphilitic Skin and the Disruption of Medical Vision,” the Southeastern College Art Conference, Columbus, OH

2017 “Scarified Skin and Simian Symptoms: Experimental Medicine and Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon,” Rutgers Center for Cultural Analysis, New Brunswick, NJ

2017 | “Prostitute, Moroccan, Monkey: Between the Human and the Animal in Roux’s and Metchnikoff’s ‘Experimental Studies on Syphilis,’” Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Conference, “Odd Bodies,” hosted by Muhlenberg College, Philadelphia, PA

2016 | “Chocolate, Children, and Health: Unwrapping the Doctor’s Image on Fin-de-Siècle French Trade Cards,” 30th Annual Conference for the Society for the Study of French History, “High and Low Culture: Elite and Popular Constructions,” University of Chichester, Chichester, West-Sussex, UK

2015 | “The Scientific Document and the Social Documentary: Photographs from the Tuskegee Syphilis Study,” Zimmerli Art Museum Symposium, “Re-Thinking Social Documentary Photography,” Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

2015 | “Complicating Objectivity in Photographic Representations of Syphilis in Fin-de-Siècle France,” Natura Science and Epistemology Conference, “Envisioning Science,” Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ