Katie Hornstein

|Associate Professor
Academic Appointments
  • Chair, Department of Art History

  • Associate Professor of Art History

Connect with Us

My research is animated by a desire to expand the idea of art history beyond a set of great masters and masterpieces. I am dedicated to the pursuit of research questions that allow me to probe understudied histories and objects that have not previously counted as "great" or "important" in order to challenge the systems of value and judgement that have traditionally dictated what constitutes the histories of European art. I bring my interdisciplinary training in art history, cultural history, and media studies to bear on a variety of different kinds of visual objects, some illustrious, like oil paintings, some that have not weathered the test of time, like panoramas and Worlds Fair display objects, and some understood to be outside of the domain of "art," such as lion pelts and messages dispatched by carrier pigeon. In my books, articles, and book chapters, I plot an alternative history of European art that is careful not to valorize the singular achievements of individual artists apart from the contested spaces where their works were produced and circulated. My research and teaching embrace current debates in my field and in the humanities more generally involving post-humanism and the nefarious intertwined logics of empire and ecological destruction, as well as questions about the representation and uses of non-human animal bodies in modern material and visual culture.


Carpenter, Room 206
HB 6033


Art History


  • B.A. University of California, Berkeley, 2001
  • Ph.D. University of Michigan, 2010

Selected Publications

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Works In Progress

"Beaver Society," and "Lions: The Trap of Meaning," Dictionnaire d'histoire critique des animaux, edited by Pierre Serna, Véronique Le Ru, Erica Joy Mannucci. 2500 words each. Éditions Champ Vallon, expected late 2024. 

"Eat the Messenger: Carrier Pigeons and the Speed of Information in the Nineteenth Century," article on carrier pigeons, information security, and financial speculation, circa 1820-1840.

Animal Modernities: Images, Objects, Histories. co-edited with Daniel Harkett; edited collection of 14 essays. University of Leuven Press, expected 2025. 

"War, Commemoration, Mutilation: Napoleonic War Horses after the Battle of Waterloo," in Animal Modernities: Images, Objects, Histories, 5,000-word essay in process.


Selected Works & Activities

Millard Meiss Publication Fund Grant for Myth and Menagerie ($11,000), College Art Association, 2022

Professor Arthur M. Wilson and Mary Tolford Wilson Faculty Fellowship/ Senior Faculty Grant, Dartmouth College, 2020-2021

ACLS Fellowship, 2018-2019

Chercheur accueillie, Centre Alexandre Koyré, EHESS/CNRS/MNHN, Paris, France, 2018-2019

John M. Manley Huntington Award for Newly Tenured Faculty, 2018 

Jacobus Family Award, 2018

Millard Meiss Publication Fund Grant for Picturing War in France, 1792-1856, College Art Association, 2017

Runner-up, Malcolm Bowie Prize, French Historical Studies, "Suspended Collectivity: Horace Vernet's The Crossing of the Arcole Bridge (1826)," 2015