Dr Keren Hammerschlag

BArtTH Hons. (UNSW), MA, PhD (Courtauld)
Lecturer, Art History and Curatorship
College of Arts and Social Sciences

Research interests

Victorian and Edwardian Art and Visual Culture

Medical Humanities

Gender and the Body

Representations of Race 1850-1914


Keren grew up in Sydney, but has lived and worked in the UK and the USA for the past 15 years. Her areas of research specialisation include Victorian and Edwardian art and visual culture, and the many intersections and frictions among art, visual culture, medicine and science during the modern period. She received her MA and PhD in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, before undertaking a three-year Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Centre for Humanities and Health at King's College London. From 2013-2018 she taught in Art History and Women's and Gender Studies at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. In 2015 she published her first monograph, 'Frederic Leighton: Death, Mortality, Resurrection,' (Ashgate / Routlegde) which offers a macabre counter-biography of the President of the Victorian Royal Academy, Frederic Lord Leighton. She has also published numerous peer-review articles on Victorian neoclassicism, medical portraiture, and medical and artistic looking. At Georgetown she was one of the founders of the Disability Studies Minor and she served as the Assistant Director of the Center for Jewish Civilization. From 2019 - 2021 she will be President of the Historians of British Art (CAA affiliated association). Her current book project, entitled 'The Colour of Empire: Representing Race in Victorian Painting,' considers the ways in which Victorian painters both reaffirmed and challenged racial boundaries through the creative use of pigment. As part of this book she will be examining the depiction of racial difference and racial hybridity in Victorian anatomical atlases.

Researcher's projects

The Colour of Empire: Representing Race in Victorian Painting (book)

The Modern Jewess: Image and Text (journal special issue)

Victorian Anatomical Atlases & Their Many Lives (& Deaths) ('One Object' special feature, British Art Studies)

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Updated:  08 May 2021 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers