Dr. Karil Kucera makes her home in two departments, Asian Studies and Art and Art History. Her research centers on the cliff sculptures found at the 12th century 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. An earlier project, Asian Takeout, a multimedia /multi-cultural Asian Studies database has now evolved into a larger multi-institutional database. This present project – IDEAS –Image Database to Enhance Asian Studies – is a collaborative effort being funded through the Midwest Instructional Technology Center. IDEAS is available on the worldwide web – www.ideasproject.org
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 the Director of the Asian Conversations program at St Olaf College, as well as advisor for St Olaf College’s exchange program with Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea.