History of Art Graduate Department of Art

Julia Lum

Email: julia.lum@utoronto.ca | Website:  www.julia-lum.com

My research interests encompass topics in the visual and material cultures of colonialism and diaspora from the long nineteenth century to present, British art, Indigenous art of North America and the Pacific, early photography and landscape. Landscapes in Parallel: Image-making and the Anglo-American Boundary Surveys (1857-1876), my postdoctoral project, 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 (1857-1876). Integral to imagining the geographies of two nations—Canada and the United States—the act of picturing the 49th parallel was both a scientific and an artistic project. It was also a fiction of linear spatialization that naturalized surveyors’ encounters with their own aesthetic preconceptions, topographical limits, and Indigenous ways of knowing and shaping land. British and American survey teams included artists and photographers who produced hundreds of sketches, watercolours, and photographs.

The project will examine the politics of the “line,” investigating how surveyors traced their movements and divided Indigenous territories as they made visible a new geopolitical order. My research will reorient the borderline along multi-dimensional axes, recovering the terrain of the landscape in its artistic, perspectival, physical and phenomenological expansiveness. Key facets of the project’s methodology derive from my PhD dissertation: “Art at the Meeting Places of Britain and Oceania, 1778-1848.” This doctoral 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.

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

  • (Catalogue): “The Cession of the District of Matavai in the Island of Otaheite [Tahiti] to Captain James Wilson,” online record. Greenwich: National Maritime Museum. <collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/578752.html>

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”

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