Lianne McTavish

Professor, Faculty of Arts - Art & Design Dept

Pronouns: she/her


Professor, Faculty of Arts - Art & Design Dept


Area of Study / Keywords

Early modern visual culture; early modern France; history of the body; history of medicine; history of childbirth; critical museology; history of museums; Canadian museums; cultural studies of fitness and health.


Lianne McTavish is Professor of the History of Art, Design, and Visual Culture in the Department of Art & Design. Dr. McTavish is internationally acclaimed for her expertise in visual analysis and the history of the body. Her research transformed the study of early modern childbirth by focusing on the gendered politics of “looking.” She also shows how museums provide visual education, by undertaking groundbreaking work on small-town and rural museums and working to decolonize these critical cultural institutions. The breadth of her scholarship is remarkable and groundbreaking.

Dr. McTavish has published four refereed single-authored monographs, two co-edited refereed books, 42 refereed journal articles and book chapters (90 per cent single-authored), numerous non-refereed essays, and hundreds of blog posts. She has published her research in prestigious venues, including highly ranked journals in the fields of cultural studies, visual studies, education, heritage studies, history, and the history of medicine. Her research has been fully funded by grants, including five major multi-year grants (as Principal Investigator) from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

Dr. McTavish is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Dr. McTavish’s current collaborative projects include SSHRC-funded interventions at key pioneer museums in Alberta, and an examination of the history of Banff Park Zoo, once located in Banff National Park.  


Childbirth and the Display of Authority in Early Modern France (Ashgate, 2005)

Defining the Modern Museum (University of Toronto Press, 2013)

Feminist Figure Girl (SUNY Press, 2015)


Voluntary Detours: Small-Town and Rural Museums in Alberta (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2021)


HADVC 203 - History of Art, Design, and Visual Culture in 17th Century Europe

History of art, design and visual culture in the 17th century. Highlights the visual culture of Italy, Spain, France, the Netherlands and Flanders, covering representations of the body, politics, and identity in the work of artists such as Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Velázquez, and Rubens.

HADVC 400 - Theory and Methods in Art, Design and Visual Culture

Prerequisite: Any HADVC 3XX with a minimum grade of B, or consent of the Department.

HADVC 600 - Advanced Theory and Methods in Art, Design and Visual Culture

Prerequisite: consent of Department.

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