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Rebecca Uchill

Full Time Lecturer / Director of Community Engagement Initiatives

Art Education, Art History & Media Studies


College of Visual & Performing Arts 360A





An introduction to analyzing images and the visual experience. This course focuses on 'reading' visual phenomena (painting, sculpture, photography, film and digital media) in light of the larger cultural forces which shape our interaction with them. 'Case studies' will introduce selected major movements and personalities within the history of art and visual culture.

A thematic approach to the systematic study of art and architecture. Through intensive reading and discussion, students will work with formal, iconographic, and contextual methodology to produce research papers which consider critically social, economic, political, and/or religious structures that influence and formulate visual art traditions. Objects selected for study will be determined by the instructor.

A critical analysis of selected topics in art history which are not otherwise offered in catalogue listings. May be repeated with change of content.

Examination of "land," "site," and "place" in art and cultural production throughout art history of the last half century. From landscapes to environmental art to discourses of "placemaking," this upper-level course will consider a variety of artistic media. Final research projects take the form of "embodied learning" and can include research-based studio projects (with accompanying scholarly papers).

Continuation of ART 505.

The completion of the written thesis, a verbal explanation of the visual thesis which includes research of sources and a discussion of pertinent aesthetic issues, materials, and processes. Graded A-F.

Dr. Rebecca Uchill is an art historian and curator whose work focuses on the institutional conditions for art production, display and dissemination. Her research in the history and theory of modern and contemporary art and cultural stewardship appears in such journals as  Journal of Art Historiography and Journal of Curatorial Studies. At CVPA, Uchill is the Director of Community Engagement Initiatives, supporting student, faculty, and staff engagement with community groups and partners, and overseeing artist residency opportunities in public practice. In this role, Uchill works in collaboration with the Labor Education Center, the Leduc Center for Civic Engagement, AHA (Art, History + Architecture) Night, New Bedford, and other local partners. 

Uchill is an interdisciplinary scholar interested in science, philosophy, and material culture. Before coming to UMassD, Uchill was Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow with the Center for Art, Science & Technology at MIT, where she co-convened BEING MATERIAL, the second CAST symposium. She is co-editor of the book Being Material, which was published by MIT Press in October, 2019. Uchill is also co-editor of the first CAST publication, Experience: Culture, Cognition, and the Common Sense (MIT Press, 2016), for which she was the curator of its many multi-sensorial artist entries.

She also has decades of experience with museum and exhibition work, having worked as a curator and curatorial consultant for institutions including the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University, the Decordova Sculpture Park and Museum, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and MASS MoCA. She was co-founder of the event-based-research/curatorial collective Experience Economies, where she focused on presenting research-based art commissions outside of conventional exhibition spaces. Currently, her exhibition Nancy Holt: Massachusetts is on view in two campus galleries. The exhibition was accompanied by a symposium event and other programming, supported by the Henry Luce Foundation’s American Art Program

She currently has two primary research projects in process. The first is a history of contemporary museum theory concentrated on curator Alexander Dorner and the developing commodification of experience. Uchill’s research on Dorner has been published in books and journals including Architectural Theory Review, Future Anterior, and the edited volume Why Art Museums? The Unfinished Work of Alexander Dorner (MIT Press and RISD Museum, 2018). Uchill’s second project, “Cultural Property: Landlords, Landscapes, and Art in Place,” is a conceptual-material history of the category of “landscape” and its entanglements with the politics of place. The project explores the historical conditions for cultural production and stewardship of natural and built environments. Uchill has presented this work internationally in lectures, workshops, and exhibition formats, including as campus lead of Local Ecologies, a three-campus initiative with UMass Boston, UMass Dartmouth, and UMass Lowell that invited artists to explore the layered cultural and natural histories of resonant sites in Eastern Massachusetts. A digital, multimedia book documenting and extending the interdisciplinary research engagements, public programs, and artworks supported by this initiative is now in development with Amherst College Press.

Uchill holds a BA, summa cum laude, in Individualized Studies from the Gallatin School at New York University. She received her MA in Art History from Williams College. She completed her PhD in History, Theory, and Criticism of Art and Architecture at MIT. Her research, which has been presented internationally, has been awarded support from the Social Science Research Council, the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, the New England Society of Architectural Historians, and the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies.

Latest from Rebecca
UMass Dartmouth to debut exhibition featuring new interpretations of campus sculpture on November 11
UMass Dartmouth exhibition "Nancy Holt: Massachusetts” receives Luce Foundation grant
Dr. Uchill's Book, Being Material, Wins AIGA Award
Roaming Art Exhibition Showcasing The Ecology Of Eastern Massachusetts, Arrives At UMass Dartmouth
Local Ecologies

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