Faculty Profile

Elizabeth Lee

Professor of Art History (2006)

Contact Information


Weiss Center for the Arts Room 225


Prof. Lee teaches courses in modern, contemporary and American art. Her research has appeared in publications including American Art, Archives of American Art Journal and The Journal of American Culture as well as the Routledge Companion to Art and Disability. Her book, The Medicine of Art: Disease and the Aesthetic Object in Gilded Age America (Bloomsbury, 2022), features an interrelated series of case studies focused on major Gilded Age artists—John Singer Sargent, Abbott Thayer, Augustus Saint-Gaudens—and one collector, Charles Lang Freer, to show how works of art were marked by disease and functioned in medicinal terms for artists and viewers in the late nineteenth century. Her current projects include an essay on Henri Matisse and therapeutic modernism as well as new research on Dr. Thomas Mütter as a collector of medical specimens.


  • B.A., Wake Forest University, 1990
  • M.A., University of Minnesota, 1993
  • Ph.D., Indiana University, 2002

2024-2025 Academic Year

Fall 2024

FYSM 100 First-Year Seminar
The First-Year Seminar (FYS) introduces students to Dickinson as a "community of inquiry" by developing habits of mind essential to liberal learning. Through the study of a compelling issue or broad topic chosen by their faculty member, students will: - Critically analyze information and ideas - Examine issues from multiple perspectives - Discuss, debate and defend ideas, including one's own views, with clarity and reason - Develop discernment, facility and ethical responsibility in using information, and - Create clear academic writing The small group seminar format of this course promotes discussion and interaction among students and their professor. In addition, the professor serves as students' initial academic advisor. This course does not duplicate in content any other course in the curriculum and may not be used to fulfill any other graduation requirement.

ARTH 314 Contemporary Art
This course addresses a period of artistic production from the late 1960s to the present. It showcases key artists and artistic movements within a broad historical framework, highlighting major issues and important debates. Some of the themes discussed in the course include the changing nature of artistic practice in recent decades; the intersection of the body in contemporary art with issues of gender, sexuality, ethnicity and race; the role of art in public spaces; the rise of new media; the place of art within galleries, museums and other art-world institutions; the global nature of contemporary art; and art as an agent of protest and social change. Assigned readings include a variety of art historical analyses, artist interviews and writings, essays by art critics and other writers with backgrounds in such areas as philosophy, gender studies and critical race theory. Prerequisite: 102 or permission of the instructor.