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Samantha Burton


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Samantha Burton came to USC as the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellow for the years 2013-2015, and is currently a lecturer in the Department of Art History. Her research takes a global approach to visual culture, focusing broadly on travel, tourism, and networks of cultural exchange in the nineteenth-century British World.

Samantha completed her PhD at McGill University and is currently completing a book manuscript that examines the ways in which Canadian women artists who lived and worked as expatriates in Britain and the United States managed multiple and often competing ideas about home and away in their writing and artwork in the decades prior to World War I. This project expands the work begun in her dissertation, which earned a number of awards, including the Canadian Studies Network national dissertation prize for best dissertation in Canadian Studies and the McGill “Arts Insights” dissertation award for best dissertation in the humanities. Research relating to this project has been published in venues that include the Journal of Canadian Art History and the edited collection Women, Femininity, and Public Space in European Visual Culture, 1789-1914.

Her postdoctoral project extends this interest in transnational mobility to the topic of the Victorian plant conservatory in Britain, North America, and the British Caribbean. Drawing on contemporary understandings of race and cultural heritage, this interdisciplinary project brings together visual and material culture studies with the histories of science, collecting, and the built environment in order to develop and test the theoretical framework of a “White Atlantic.” An essay based on the initial research for this project, which puts French artist James Tissot’s representations of his London conservatory in dialogue with scientific discourses about sex, race, health, and climatology, recently appeared in Victorian Studies.



Ph.D. Art History, McGill University, 2012
M.A. Art History, McGill University, 2005
B.A. Art History, Concordia University, 2003
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