Art historian holder of a Chair of Excellence

OXFORD, Mississippi – Kris Belden-Adams, associate professor of art history at the University of Mississippiwill spend the next academic year teaching and advancing her research in the history and theory of photography as the Dorothy Kayser Hohenberg Professor of Art History at the University of Memphis.

“I am honored and thrilled to commit to a new campus and community, and to expand my professional circle to include new colleagues and collaborations,” she said. “I greatly appreciate the support of the University of Mississippi as I take on this temporary new role.”

The Hohenberg Chair seeks Visiting Scholars whose research expertise draws on the disciplines of the faculty in the Department of Art. Former Hohenberg Chairs come from the British Museum, the Bruges Museum, the University of Canterbury, the University of Oxford and the University of Naples, among others.

Kris Belden Adams

“My research into the history of photography is rigorously object-based and illustrates broader trends such as the use of photography as a means of expressing the unique anxieties of living in an age of technological modernity,” she said. “I relentlessly seek to examine how photography helped shape our viewing habits in the 19th century and today, and why it continues to be an essential part of our lives.

“I hope some of my passion for the medium and its many unanswered questions – about truth, about the nature of documentary, about time, about its importance in our lives – will be infectious.”

Belden-Adams is the author of two books and has had scholarly articles on art history, photography, and visual culture published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism, and the International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, among others.

Last winter, she teamed up with Yixin Chen, UM president and professor of computer and information science, to develop IT tools to collect and analyze photographic data from social networks. Their goal is to explore how digital media shapes our culture, including how we preserve our memories and present to each other.

Before joining the Ole Miss faculty in 2013, she earned her PhD in Art History from the City University of New York, her MA in Art History, Theory and Criticism from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. and her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.

“Dr. Belden-Adams is a leader in the field of the history of photography, and his work, which focuses both on the medium’s impact on the development of society as well as on how it can serve as an important tool for expressing a diversity of voices, represents vital research that is well deserving of this recognition,” said Michael Barnett, Acting President of the Department of Art and Art History.

The 2021 and 2022 Fulbright Scholar Award finalist plans to return to Ole Miss in August 2024.

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