Research

Dr. Kim is an interdisciplinary art and cultural historian, whose research focuses on Greek and Near Eastern visual and material culture. Trained in art history and archaeology (University of Pennsylvania; UC Berkeley), Kim’s research focuses on intersections among gender and ethnicity, cross-cultural interactions, and cultural heritage in the ancient world and present. Her work is publicly engaged, using her skills as an interdisciplinary art historian and curator in service to arts-oriented projects like Monument Lab and Data Refuge.

Kim’s current book project is the first synthetic study of the art and archaeology of Hellenistic royal women (4th-1st c BCE) from the Mediterranean and Middle East. She examines how dynastic women shaped royal art as subjects and patrons, revealing how gendered power dynamics were constructed and negotiated. The book brings issues of gendered and ethnic difference to bear on how diverse audiences could interact with such portrayals. Through methods derived from art history and archaeology, the research examines how royal and non-royal communities formulated various, sometimes conflicting, ideas about royal femininity through the production, circulation, and engagements with material culture.

Click through to explore her Book projects, Articles and Essays, and Digital Humanities projects!

Books

Bodies of Power: The Art and Archaeology of Royal Women from the Hellenistic World (4th-1st c BCE) (in progress)

Fragmentary faience oinochoe. Ptolemaic Egypt. 243-222 BCE. 22.2 x 14 cm. Getty Villa, 96.AI.58. Digital image courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program.

Fragmentary faience oinochoe. Ptolemaic Egypt. 243-222 BCE. 22.2 x 14 cm. Getty Villa, 96.AI.58. Digital image courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program.

Bodies of Power examines the visual and material culture of Hellenistic royal women from the Mediterranean and the Middle East from the fourth-first century BCE. Analyzing an eclectic range of visual and material culture, alongside textual evidence, the project studies the role of objects, images, and monuments in expressing the contours of women’s political power. Moreover, it examines how dynastic women shaped royal art as subjects and patrons, revealing how gendered power dynamics were constructed and negotiated. Grounded in art historical and archaeological methods, Bodies of Power brings issues of gendered and ethnic difference to bear on how diverse audiences could interact with such portrayals. Moreover, it engages meaningfully with postcolonial and race-oriented feminist frameworks to understand gendered entanglements across diverse land- and waterscapes.

Timescales: Ecological Temporalities Across Disciplines (under contract with the University of Minnesota Press)

This forthcoming interdisciplinary volume in the environmental humanities brings together diverse environmental researchers—academics, including scientists and humanists, as well as artists— who together consider how ideas about time shift in this era of anthropogenic climate change. Timescales is an edited collection, written in English, that contains fourteen chapters, as well as an introduction and a coda (written by myself and my co-editors). It is approximately 250 pages long. Its special features (in addition to distant disciplinary conversations) include three experimental artistic interludes: an opera about climate change, a boat installation that is also an experiment in utopian living, and speculative sculptures that imagine a far future through an Indigenous-Latinx lens. These special chapters are accompanied by color tipped-in plates of these works, which communicate these projects’ impactful visuals.

I am the co-editor of Timescales alongside Dr. Bethany Wiggin (German Studies, University of Pennsylvania) and Dr. Carolyn Fornoff (Latin American Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).

Articles and Essays

“Statue of Peace.” Glendale, CA.

“Statue of Peace.” Glendale, CA.

“Carceral Heritage and the Gendered Politics of Display in Caria (4th century BCE) and Korea (Present).” Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association. Forthcoming 2020.

Edwin Austin Abbey. “ Anthony and Cleopatra.” Pen and ink, 1909. Yale .

Edwin Austin Abbey. “ Anthony and Cleopatra.” Pen and ink, 1909. Yale .

“Intersectional Hostility and Queenship in the Greco-Roman Worlds.” American Historical Review Round Table. (Accepted and in progress)


Detail of panel from Room 16, Villa Fannius Synistor, Boscoreale.

Detail of panel from Room 16, Villa Fannius Synistor, Boscoreale.

“(Female) Bodies of Land and Water: Ecocritical and Postcolonial Feminisms in Hellenistic Visual Culture” in The Routledge Handbook to Classics and Postcolonial Theory, ed. K. Blouin and B. Akrigg (in progress)

Panel from triclinium 20, House of the Golden Bracelet, Pompeii.

Panel from triclinium 20, House of the Golden Bracelet, Pompeii.

“For the Love of Empire: Re-assessing the Royal Wedding Painting from the House of the Golden Bracelet, Pompeii.” (in preparation)


Digital Humanities

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Data Refuge

Data Refuge is a public, collaborative initiative founded by the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities and Penn Libraries that builds refuge for federal environmental and climate data. Now, with a grant from National Geographic, we are launching a nationwide storytelling initiative to tell stories about how data live in people, places, and non-human animals.

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Making Digital Vision: Sight and Ritual at Balalyk-Tepe (7th-8th c CE)

In a small, windowless space in the furthest corner of fortress at Balalyk-Tepe, a set of polychromatic paintings depict a group of lavishly adorned men and women banqueting together. I engage with digital technologies not to offer concrete conclusions or answers about the meaning or experience of these wall paintings in the past, but rather, to generate new kinds of conversations about painting and vision in antiquity.

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Humanizing Data

More information coming soon…


Public Scholarship

2018    “Survivors Monument.” Monument Lab. October 15.

2017    “Art and data marry to illuminate stories of life on the Schuylkill River.” NewsWorks. March 3.

2017    “Assembling Oddkin in the Anthropocene,” Ecologies of Data series editor, Penn Program in Environmental Humanities, January 26.

2016    (with C.B. Rose, S. Holzman, and K.R. Morgan) “The Legacy of Phrygian Culture.” Expedition 57 (3): 42-46.  

2016    (with A. Amrhein, L. Stephens, and J. Hickman) “The Myth of Midas’ Golden Touch.” Expedition 57 (3): 53-56.

2016    “Precarity and You #DataRefuge.” Penn Program in Environmental Humanities, December 9.

2016    “Archaeology and the Past in the Anthropocene,” Before the Anthropocene series editor, Penn Program in Environmental Humanities, March 6.

2016    “He Brought About the Flood Without Considering the Consequences.” The Nature of Our Ruin series, ed. Steve V. Dolph, Penn Program in Environmental Humanities, January 8.

2015    “’Brown is the New Green’ and the Environmental Ethics of Color.” Penn Program in Environmental Humanities, December 14.

2015    “Diplomacy and Display in Commagenian Coinage.” Pocket Change: The Blog of the American Numismatic Society. July 13.