Karen Gonzalez Rice
Sue and Eugene Mercy Assistant Professor, Department of Art History
Joined Connecticut College: 2011
B.A., M.A., University of Texas at Austin; Ph.D., Duke University
Contemporary art (1945-present)
Contemporary art and the body
American studies; contemporary art in America
Religion in contemporary art
Art and ethics
Karen Gonzalez Rice joined Connecticut College in 2011. She received her Ph.D. from Duke University’s Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies in 2010.
Her approach to teaching and research is multi-disciplinary, drawing on methodologies of contemporary art history, religious studies, American studies and trauma studies.
Her courses at Connecticut College include Modern Art, Art since 1945 and Survey of the History of Art II, as well as seminars such as Minimalism and the American West and Global Performance Art. She moderated a panel, "Performance Art, Aesthetics and Creative Pathways," during the 13th Biennial Symposium on Arts & Technology through the Ammerman Center for Arts & Technology at Connecticut College, March 1-3, 2012.
Gonzalez Rice is committed to ethical inquiry and lively debate in and beyond the classroom, and her courses often draw on local art resources. In the fall 2011 semester, student projects include researching Sol Lewitt sculptures on campus and in the town of New London and analyzing art historical narratives in exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Gonzalez Rice is currently completing a book titled Enduring Belief, Confronting Faith: Performance, Trauma, Religion, which theorizes connections among theology, traumatic experience, and performance in contemporary art. An excerpt from the book appears in the edited anthology Beyond Belief: Theological Aesthetics or Old-Time Religion (2010). Her next project, Forming the Habit: Monastic Commitment in Contemporary Art, will explore the historical contexts and significance of experimental artists’ turn to habitual action as a central element of their art practice. Her research interests also include natural disasters in contemporary art, post-Holocaust art, 1980s video art in California, and global experimental art practices.
Gonzalez Rice has also taught at Duke University and at Beloit College.
At Connecticut College, she has served on several committees, including Writing Across the Curriculum, Academic Fair Planning, American Studies Prize and the Art History Symposium.