Hi, Nice to meet you!
I’m Amy Gansell. I’m an Art History professor at St. John’s University. I specialize in the art, architecture, and archaeology of the ancient Near East. The ancient Near East stretches across a vast territory from the Mediterranean to the Indus Valley, and covers thousands of years, from the Prehistoric to the Classical Greco-Roman era.
As a scholar of the ancient Near East, much of my research focuses on images of women in ancient Mesopotamia (ancient Iraq, from about 3000 to 600 BCE), but my experiences and interests are very broad. In graduate school, I studied Islamic art and completed a secondary field of study in Byzantine art. Across cultures and periods, I’m interested in many topics, including gender, dress, jewelry, furniture, interior design, gardens and landscape architecture, concepts of beauty, cultural heritage, museology, and the canon and pedagogy of Art History.
As an art historian, much of my work relies on archaeological research and perspectives. I wanted to be an archaeologist since I was a child searching for artifacts in the cornfields and creeks of Pennsylvania. At Barnard, I could “make my own major,” so of course I pursued Archaeology, taking a combination of Anthropology and Art History courses.
It was through an Art History course with John Russell in my freshman year that I discovered the ancient Near East. Without pause, I went on to get my M.A. and Ph.D. (1998-2008) in Ancient Near Eastern Art History at Harvard, under the advisement of Irene Winter.
During my undergrad and graduate years, I held internships at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Harvard University Art Museums, and I gained archaeological experience at sites in France, Tunisia (Bir Ftouha/Carthage), Crete (Palaikastro), Syria (Tell Ahmar and Tell Sheikh Hamad), and Turkey (Tell Atchana).
Upon receiving my doctorate, I held a two-year full-time position in the U.S. Department of State as the Associate Coordinator for Iraqi and Afghan cultural heritage, working on projects to restore and build professional capacity at the Afghan National Museum, the National Museum of Iraq, and the site of Babylon in Iraq. Following this, I returned to academia through a postdoctoral fellow at Emory University’s Bill and Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry. During graduate school and my early post-graduate years I was also an adjunct Art History instructor at George Washington University, the Fashion Institute of Technology, Pratt Institute, and Purdue Fort Wayne (online). In 2013, I joined the Art and Design department at St. John’s University, where I am now a tenured Associate Professor. I teach global Art History survey courses, electives in ancient and non-Western art, and “special topics” courses on my areas of research. I also teach in the Museum Administration M.A. program.Meanwhile, I am writing a book, editing a book, starting and sustaining a few other projects, checking out all sorts of art, and always learning. This website shares information on my writing, publications, projects, teaching, and other stuff (lots of art and travel photos!) that I hope you might find interesting or useful in your own research. To see and read more, follow me on Twitter @amy_gansell.