Dr Katrina Grant

PhD, BA Hons
Senior Lecturer - Digital Humanities
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Research interests

  • Digital art history
  • Digital mapping
  • Digitisation and cultural collections
  • Theatre and Festival Culture in Early Modern Europe
  • Set Design and Visual Culture of Theatre
  • History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes
  • History of Maps and Cartography
  • Baroque Art
  • Italian Art and Architectural History (16th-18th centuries)
  • Art Writing
  • Grand Tour and artistic relations between Britain and Italy
  • Court culture
  • Studies in place and space
  • Arcadias and Utopias


Recent publications see http://katrinagrant.net/recent-publications/

Katrina Grant is an art historian and digital humanities expert with a background in the study of Early Modern Italy. Her research focuses on the history of gardens and landscapes in Early Modern Italy, the visual culture of performance in the same period, and, the application of digital technologies to art history (digital mapping in particular). Her research publications include articles and book chapters on the garden history of Italy, history of emotions and set design, the Arcadian Academy and landscape in Rome, and artistic relationships between Britain and Italy in the eighteenth century. Her monograph with Amsterdam University Press, Landscape in Early Modern Italy: Theatre Garden and Visual Culture (2022), explores how the idea of gardens as theatres emerged at the same time as opera was developed in Italian courts around the turn of the seventeenth century, and, how in this period the aesthetic of designed landscapes and gardens was wholly transformed, which resulted in a reconceptualization of the relationship between humans and nature. Current research projects include: 

Digital Cartographies of the Roman Campagna. This project brings together historical maps with modern mapping technologies to recreate the lost landscape of the Roman Campagna, and draw together data and research from a variety of disciplines, including art and architectural history, social history, cultural geography and the history of climate and ecological change. 

GLAM search engines and AI - this project, in collaboration with Bernardo Pereira Nunes from the ANU College of Computer Science and Engineering, examines the problems of bias and search engine design in large-scale digitised collections of art and culture.

Collaborative Projects and Digital Humanities Pedagogy - This project is driven by the research-led teaching of the Centre for Digital Humanities Research at the ANU and investigates new ways to engage interdisciplinary cohorts of students in the study of Digital Humanities and a critique of the digital world. We develop new pedagogical approaches to guide the development of Digital Humanities as a discipline, with a focus on public engagement and cultural heritage. This work builds on my background in educational research during my time as a Research Fellow at the Australian Council for Educational Research (2013-2016). 

She is the founding editor of the Art History Network (formerly Melbourne Art Network website), run in collaboration with the Australia Institute of Art History. She has been on the executive of the Art Association of Australia and New Zealand (AAANZ) since 2015.

Researcher's projects

Digital Cartographies of the Roman Campagna: art, climate change, ecology and the landscape in crisis 1600-1900.

With Mitchell Whitelaw and Lisa Beaven

This project examines the relationship between artistic depictions and imagery of the Roman Campagna (the flat plains of the countryside around Rome more or less coinciding with the modern region of Lazio today) and the place itself, in the context of ecology, climate change, disease and social history from 1600 to 1900. Two historic maps will be amalgamated to form the basis of this digital platform: Giacomo Filippo Ameti’s Il Lazio con le sue conspicue strade antiche (made in 1693) and Battista Cingolani della Pergola’s Topografia Geometria dell’Agro Romano (made in 1704), specifically the editions in the British School at Rome library. The digital map will allow a juxtaposition of the long artistic tradition of painting the Campagna, with the lived experience of that environment. This platform will show how artists represented and responded to the rich historical past of the Campagna on the one hand, and its shifting reality on the other.


With Sofia Samper Carro, Catherine Frieman and Terhi Nurmikko-Fuller

Skullbook is a collaborative project between the School of Archaeology and Anthropology and the Centre for Digital Humanities Research. at ANU. We will produce digital and 3D-printed ‘bone libraries’ to support students’ research. This project blends traditional analyses with new technologies. Skullbook will produce the first digital bone library in Australia. This project will improve access to teaching resources for key skills-based teaching in archaeology, and offer important hands-on training in digital humanities. The digital bone library will become a resource for students, educators, museums, and researchers in both Australia, and worldwide.

Available student projects

I am happy to discuss Honours, Masters and PhD supervision project in digital humanities or art history.

Current student projects

Renee Dixson (PhD - Interdisciplinary Cross Cultural Research Program)

Developing a crowdsourced digital LGBTIQ archive: a new methodology to challenge knowledge hegemonies and hierarchies of normative archive practices.

Gavin Findlay (PhD - Interdisciplinary Cross Cultural Research Program)

A theoretical framework for using online archives of theatre and performance to research intangible cultural heritage

Alex Robertson (PhD - Interdisciplinary Cross Cultural Research Program with the National Film and Sound Archive)

Film archives, digitisation and engagement




Past student projects

2022 Juliette Parsons (Honours - Digital Humanities) The Investor Gaze: Can non-fungible tokens be appropriated as a feminist tool for artists to reclaim control of their work and image? 

2021 Quynh-Anh Do (Masters of Digital Humanities ResearchThe construction of Vietnamese identity through digital visualisation of traditional Viet clothing

2021 Tianchang Hu (Masters of Digital Humanities Research) GIS-based visualisation and quantitative analysis of modern Chinese historical narratives: A Study of the Spatio-temporal Distribution of Anti-Christianity Incidents in Jiangxi Province (1840-1912)

2021 Xinran Tian, Masters Project in Computer Science, ‘Development of a Semantic Search Engine using BERT models for Historical Curation’

2021 Peng Yong, Masters Project in Computer Science, ‘Travel Data and Historical Text Project’

2020-2021 Ting Wang, Honours in Digital Humanities, ‘How can digital technologies be used to increase public engagement with heritage and culture?’

2019-2020 Claire Holland, Honours in Digital Humanities, ‘Immersive technology in Contemporary Theatre’

2018 Sean Minney, Masters in Digital Humanities and Public Culture, ‘Collaboration and shared values between IT and Curatorial in GLAM'


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Updated:  25 July 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers