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Tara Zanardi

Professor of Art History

Tara Zanardi teaches courses on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European art that consider a wide range of topics, such as art and politics, the development of museums, national identities and cultural representations, fashion, gender, and global exchange. Her expertise and research interests cover the visual and material culture of Spain. She has published articles in Material Culture Review, The Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Dieciocho, Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, and Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body and Culture. She has a forthcoming essay, “Majas, Mantillas, and Marcialidad: Fashioning Identity in Late Eighteenth-Century Spain,” in the anthology, The Gendered Object in the Long Eighteenth Century, eds. Jennifer Germann and Heidi Strobel (Ashgate). Her first book-length manuscript, Majismo and the Pictorial Construction of Spanish Elite Identity in Eighteenth Century, is forthcoming from Pennsylvania State University Press (2016).

Her current work includes two book-length manuscripts. The first, Fashioning Identities: Types, Dress, and Customs in a Global Context, is an anthology co-edited with Lynda Klich. It is currently under review with Ashgate. The anthology seeks to give voice to a form of representation that has been largely marginalized, despite its long history, and debunks the usual classification of typological images as unmediated and authentic representations of a people and their practices. Zanardi’s essay considers the mantón de Manila (Manila shawl), revealing a complex history of origins and identity that embodies the cosmopolitanism of the Spanish empire. The anthology includes essays, which first came together during a symposium held at Hunter College, City University of New York in October 2013, co-organized by Zanardi and Klich, that serve as case studies through the lens of diverse disciplines.*

The second book-length manuscript, tentatively titled, Artful Politics: The Chinese Porcelain Room at Aranjuez and the Shaping of Bourbon Identity, is currently in preparation. In this book, she will explore the connections among porcelain, botany, identity, and politics under Charles III (1759-88). It will be the first in-depth analysis of the Aranjuez Porcelain Room, chinoiserie in Spanish interior design, and the vital role played by the visual in understanding Spain’s shifting relationship to Asia, in particular its Philippine colonies. 

Zanardi received her MA and PhD from the University of Virginia. She has held previous teaching posts at Roger Williams University, Appalachian State University, and the University of Virginia. She has given lectures and chaired sessions at conferences for the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies and CAA. For the upcoming International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies conference (Rotterdam, 2015), she will co-chair a session on textiles and commerce with Michael Yonan and present a paper on gender, labor, and the silk lace mantilla in Spain. Zanardi has received grants from the Fulbright Program, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the Program for Cultural Cooperation between Spain and United States, Hunter College’s Presidential Fund for Faculty Advancement, PSC-CUNY, and the American Association of University Women. She was also a Feliks Gross Endowment Award winner in 2014.