Karil Kucera

Karil Kucera
Associate Professor of Art History and Asian Studies (Dept. Chair, Asian Studies), Sabbatical: 2015-2016

B.A. French Language and Literature; B.A. Asian Studies, University of Wisconsin - Madison; M.A. Art History, University of Oregon; Ph.D. Art History, University of Kansas.

Professor Kucera’s research centers on sacred sites, with her most recently completed work on the cliff sculptures found at the Buddhist cave site of Baodingshan in Sichuan province. This interest has produced a course entitled “Buddhism through Text and Image”, which focuses on the interplay of scripture on artistic representation. Karil has also developed special interests in 20th century Chinese visual culture, with students addressing the context of all matters of Chinese material culture, including film.

Karil has also spent a considerable amount of time pursuing issues related to the art of teaching. She has been actively involved in working with digital imaging issues, and has lectured on appropriate as well as effective usage of imagery in the classroom. She is a co-creator of a multimedia /multi-cultural Asian Studies multi-institutional database, the IDEAS project. IDEAS, an Image Database to Enhance Asian Studies, is available on the worldwide web – www.ideasproject.org or http://ideasasia.omeka.net/ In addition to her database work, Karil has also been actively working with students to put on exhibitions using materials from the St Olaf Flaten Art Museum collection. See her personal website for virtual forms of these exhibitions.

Karil completed her Ph.D. in Chinese art history at the University of Kansas, her Masters degree at the University of Oregon, and her BA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to coming to St Olaf College, Karil held a post-doctorate position at the University of Washington in Seattle, and had previously taught as a visiting professor at Dartmouth and Lewis and Clark College in Portland. She has lived and traveled extensively throughout Asia, and is currently serving as chair of St Olaf’s Asian Studies Department.