Kate Flint

Provost Professor of Art History and English
Kate Flint
Email kflint@dornsife.usc.edu Office VKC 351 Office Phone (213) 740-2808

Research & Practice Areas

Victorian and early twentieth- century cultural, visual, and literary history; Victorian painting; environmental art and literary practice; text/image relations; C19th transatlantic movements; history of photography; theories of reading/viewing/affect/subjectivity in their historical contexts.


Kate Flint, Provost Professor of Art History and English, joined the University of Southern California in July 2011. She taught at Bristol and Oxford Universities before moving to Rutgers: The State University of New Jersey (New Brunswick), in 2001. She served as Chair of the Department of Art History from Jan. 2012 to August 2015; from August 2018 – August 2021, and in Fall 2023.
Kate Flint’s research spans the 19th and 20th centuries, and is both interdisciplinary and transatlantic. Trained at Oxford University and the Courtauld Institute of Art, she wrote her M.A. dissertation on social realism and 19th-century Italian art, and her PhD on the British reception of contemporary painting, 1870-1910. Her areas of specialization include nineteenth and early twentieth-century cultural, visual, and literary history in England and the United States; the history of photography from its inception to now; transatlantic studies, and environmental history and criticism. Professor Flint’s latest book, Flash! Photography, Writing and Surprising Illumination appeared with Oxford University Press early in 2018. She has published The Transatlantic Indian 1776-1930 (Princeton University Press, 2008), which looks at the two-way relations between Native Americans and the British in the long 19th century, and explores the intersections of modernity, nationhood, performance, and popular culture; The Victorians and The Visual Imagination (Cambridge University Press, 2000) and The Woman Reader, 1837-1914 (Oxford University Press, 1993). These last two books both won the British Academy’s Rose Mary Crawshay prize.  She was General Editor of the Cambridge History of Victorian Literature (2012); co-edited Culture, Landscape and the Environment (Oxford University Press, 2000), and edited Victorian Love Stories (Oxford University Press, 1996) as well as a number of works by Dickens, Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence and Anthony Trollope for Penguin Classics and OUP World’s Classics. Additionally, Kate has published many articles on Victorian, modernist and contemporary painting, photography, fiction and poetry; on the history of reading; and on cultural history. Together with Clare Pettitt, she is co-editor of Cambridge University Press’s Studies in Nineteenth Century Literature and Culture series. She has held Fellowships at the National Humanities Center (2007-8; 2015-16); the Huntington Library; the Humanities Research Centre at the ANU, Canberra; and the Georgia O’Keeffe Research Center. She held an ACLS Fellowship in AY 2016. In 2016, Kate received USC Dornsife’s Raubenheimer award for outstanding performance in scholarship, teaching, and service. In 2018-20, she was a Faculty Fellow in USC Dornsife’s Society of Fellows. She served as President of the North American Victorian Studies Association 2020-22, and was an International Member of the UK’s 2022 Research Excellence Framework team.  In 2020, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship (taken 2021-22).
Currently, Kate is working on a project that explores nineteenth century fascination with close observation of the ordinary natural world, and considers how this relates to today’s environmental crises. Through the lens of contemporary artists who deploy C19th themes and motifs, she discusses the slow violence of environmental damage that was latent in 19th-century scrutiny and representations; assesses the temporalities through which we understand ecological change; and provides a new way of looking at art produced in both Britain and the United States in the nineteenth century. Additionally, she is working on a history of English literary and visual culture during a period of dramatic change and cultural diversity, 1875-1915.  


  • Ph.D. English/Art History, Oxford University, 1985
  • M.A. Art History, Courtauld Institute, London University, 1977
  • B.A. English, Oxford University, 1976