Karen Gonzalez Rice
Sue and Eugene Mercy Assistant Professor of Art History
Joined Connecticut College: 2011
On sabbatical Fall 2014
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 multidisciplinary, drawing on methodologies of contemporary art history, religious studies, American studies and trauma studies.
Her courses at Connecticut College include Late 20th-Century Art, Pop Art, and Survey of the History of Art II: Renaissance to the Present, as well as upper-level courses such as Environmental Art & Its Ethics, Minimalism and the American West, and Radical Bodies: Contemporary Art & Action.
Gonzalez Rice is committed to ethical inquiry and lively debate in and beyond the classroom, and her courses often draw on local art resources. Student projects include researching Sol Lewitt sculptures on campus and in the town of New London, analyzing art historical narratives in exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and presenting public gallery talks about their research on campus artworks.
Gonzalez Rice is currently completing a book manuscript titled Long Suffering: Surviving Trauma and Living Religion in American Endurance Art, which explores the intersection of twentieth-century American avant-garde performance art with traditions of prophetic religious discourse in the United States. An excerpt from the book is included in the edited anthology Beyond Belief: Theoaesthetics or Old-Time Religion? (2010). A related article, “‘No Pictures:’ Blind Date and Abject Masculinity” will appear in Performance Research in February 2014. Her next project, Forming the Habit: Monastic Commitment in Contemporary Art, traces representations of monasticism in American popular visual culture and in avant-garde performance art in the 1970s.
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 Board and the Instructional Technology Advisory Board.