Dr. Christine Lindeman

Christine Lindeman

In August of 2012, Dr. Christina Lindeman, Associate Professor of Art History, started her career at the University of South Alabama. Prior to coming to USA, she completed her Ph.D. in the History and Theory of Art at the University of Arizona (2007) under the mentorship of Dr. Julie Anne Plax.

Lindeman’s research focuses on eighteenth-century Germany and has shifted, she says, “from women as patrons of art to women as artists.” Questions of gender performance and how gender was perceived in the eighteenth century are central to her scholarly inquiries. Overall, her research examines “the significant role women played in the advancement of visual culture during the Enlightenment.”

Her first book, Representing Duchess Anna Amalia’s Bildung: A Visual Metamorphosis from Personal to Political in Eighteenth-Century Germany (Routledge, 2017) examines how portraiture was employed in constructing scholarly and intellectual identities. The book demonstrates the role accorded to aging women in the public sphere, cultural politics, and historical memory.

She is currently working on her second book, which will examine the Prussian (Polish) painter Anna Dorothea Therbusch (born Lisiewski). She lived from 1721 to 1782 and was, Lindeman says, “an exceptional woman who travelled throughout Europe working on courtly commissions and who challenged social norms by becoming a female member of male dominated art academies in Stuttgart, Paris, and Vienna.” This new book project explores how “her training, artistic friendships, and family dynamics impacted her work and helped her succeed.” According to Lindeman, recent scholarship spotlights Therbusch’s short time in Paris, whereas her book will focus on “her artwork within a German milieu, and in the social and cultural context of the courts in Mannheim, Stuttgart, Berlin, and Potsdam.”

As an Art Historian, Lindeman’s research involves a number of steps. There is a process of formal analysis of an artwork. In addition, she has to identify the materials the artist used and examine how the artist went about her or his process of making artworks. All of this is combined with library and archival research, pouring over primary documents such as contracts, letters, or journals. She says she must also “examine the iconography (if applicable) and then think about how the artwork functioned ‘in context,’” which means she examines it “in terms of the culture that created it and how the artwork may affect or be affected by politics, social structures and hierarchies, cultural practices, or intellectual currents.”

Teaching is also very important to Lindeman. Indeed, she says she loves all of the classes she teaches. She is responsible for the creation of ARH 203: “Survey of Non-Western Art,” which is a course that counts for General Education credit. This course fills a gap in the Art History General Education curriculum and suits the University’s emphasis on Global Engagement. As Lindeman points out, she was surprised the course did not already exist, given USA’s size, location, and diverse student body. In her words, creating the course was a “no brainer.”

Looking forward, Lindeman says her major academic goal in the next three to four years is to complete and publish her manuscript on Therbusch and the cultural landscape of eighteenth-century Berlin. She also has some short-term projects in mind such as revising an essay on eighteenth-century visual representations of old age for the edited volume A Cultural History of Old Age (Bloomsbury Academic Press). Another essay in progress is on eighteenth-century dog kennels (or Hundezimmer) in German Rococo palace architecture (Lindeman flew to Munich this summer to photograph palace architecture). And finally, she plans to revise a conference paper for possible publication with SVEC (Oxford) or Brill publications.

Lindeman spends a lot of non-University time with her son, Wyatt, helping to make sure homework is completed and making sure he gets to sporting events and swim practice four times a week. She volunteers with fund-raising events and the science fair at his school, St. Mary Catholic School. Playing tennis with her doubles partner, Jill Showers-Chow, is a pleasure, as is watching BBC mysteries. Lindeman would really like—if she can find the time—to “learn a new language and take a ceramics class.”