Assistant Professor of Art
- Office: Taylor Hall 216
- Phone: 437-5222
- Box: 21
- Email: email@example.com
Karen S. Hwang is Assistant Professor of Art History in the Art Department. She has taught at Vassar since 2009, previously having taught as Instructor at Wellesley College and as a Teaching Fellow at Harvard University. She received her PhD in History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University. Her dissertation, “Legitimacy, genealogy, and the icon: A study of Mogao Cave 9, Dunhuang, of the Guiyijun period (851-1002),” examines the painting, sculpture, and architecture of cave-shrines of Dunhuang, an oasis along the Silk Road. She has received a number of awards, including the Harvard University Merit-Based Dissertation Grant, the Henry-Luce Foundation Research Grant (for her work in Kizil), and from the Metropolitan Center for Far Eastern Art Studies. She has also received the Harvard University Bok Center Certificate of Distinction in Teaching.
Professor Hwang is currently writing an article on representations of a Sino-Indian deity called Nezha, focusing on the unstable iconography of the popular deity and the general issue of shifting dynamics between form and meaning. The article will also consider various modes and implications of artistic communications between the Central Plains and the geographic peripheries of medieval China. While her primary research interest remains medieval Buddhist art of the Silk Road, Professor Hwang also has deep interests in East Asian ceramics and in landscape painting. These interests developed out of her experience of working at LACMA (formerly the Los Angeles County Museum of Art), where she worked closely with the museum’s historians and conservators in order to better understand the methods by which works of art were produced and preserved.
Professor Hwang is among the team of instructors for Art 105-106. On the 200-level, she offers “The Arts of East Asia,” “The Arts of China,” and “The Arts of Japan.” Her 300-level offerings include: “The Body in East Asian Art,” “Issues in Buddhist Art,” “Issues in Chinese Landscape Painting,” and “Representations of the Tale of Genji.”