Art History Department

Julia Lum

Email: | Website:

My research interests include topics in landscape, empire, photography, cross-cultural exchange and the visual and material histories of colonization. My current postdoctoral project, Landscapes in Parallel: Image-making and the Anglo-American Boundary Surveys (1857-1876), critically examines the visual archives of the joint British and American surveys establishing the North American border between the Lake of the Woods to the Juan de Fuca Strait on the Pacific coast (1857-1876). Integral to the shape of two nations—Canada and the United States—the act of picturing the 49th parallel was both a scientific and an artistic project. Members of the British and American teams trained in watercolour drawing and photography took to these mediums to inscribe the parallel’s legibility. I examine how practices of picturing the borderland became entangled with local cultural geographies, Indigenous networks and competing sovereignties—all resistant to a tidy linearity.

Key aspects of this project’s methodology stem from my PhD dissertation: “Art at the Meeting Places of Britain and Oceania, 1778-1848.” This research found that British landscape aesthetics, transplanted to colonial Australasia and Polynesia, were transformed by the artistic engagements with terrain shaped and marked by Pacific Indigenous cultural practices.

  • PhD, MPhil Yale University, 2018
  • MA Carleton University, 2009
  • BA University of British Columbia, 2005
Selected Publications
  • (Forthcoming) co-edited with Gerald McMaster and Kaitlin McCormick. “The Entangled Gaze: Indigenous and European Views of Each Other.” ab-Original: Journal of Indigenous Studies and First Nations and First Peoples’ Cultures. (special issue 2019).

  • (Forthcoming) “Our Transporting Antipodes’: Panoramic Views of Australia and the Works of Augustus Earle.” in The Viewing Platform: Perspectives on the Panorama. ed. Tim Barringer, Richard Maxwell and Katie Trumpener. New Haven: Yale University Press.

  • “Fire-stick Picturesque: Landscape Art in Early Colonial Tasmania,” British Art Studies Issue 10 (2018):

  • Familial Looking: Chinese Canadian vernacular photography of the exclusion period (1923–1967).” Visual Studies 32:2 (2017).

Recent Awards
  • 2018– SSHRC Post-doctoral Fellowship
  • 2018 Theron Rockwell Field Prize, Yale University
  • 2018 Frances Blanshard Prize for the outstanding doctoral dissertation submitted to the History of Art, Yale University
  • 2017 Junior Fellowship, Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London
  • 2016–17 Pre-doctoral Fellow, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (Annual Scholar Theme: “Art and Anthropology”

Site Design & Development by Office/Bureau