Department of Women's and Gender Studies University of Missouri Department of Women's and Gender Studies

Ilyana KarthasIlyana Karthas

Assistant Professor of History
Webpage in History
phone: 573-882-9462

Ilyana Karthas joined the History Department faculty and became an Affiliate Faculty member of the Women's and Gender Studies Department after teaching at McGill University in both the History Department and Women's Studies Program. She specializes in 19th and 20th century French cultural history. She received her M.A. in Women's Studies from Oxford University where she examined 19th-century English women art critics and analyzed "separate spheres" ideology in Victorian Britain. Both projects contextualized the visual arts within historical and cultural themes. Her M.A. thesis documented and analyzed the life and work of Merlyn Severn, a pioneer in early dance photography in the 1930s. In 2004, her article, "Merlyn Severn," was published in Oxford University Press' New Dictionary of National Biography. Professor Karthas completed her Ph.D. under the supervision of Carolyn J. Dean at Brown University where her research fields included French Cultural History, Modern European Intellectual & Cultural History, Women's & Gender History, and Modern European Art History.

Currently, Professor Karthas is developing a book manuscript entitled, "Nation, Modernism, Gender and the Cultural Politics of Ballet in early 20th century France." This project will be the first book-length study that traces the revival of ballet in France (via the Russian ballet) in the early 20th century. The work highlights some of the cultural factors that enabled ballet to regain its position as a "primary cultural institution" after a long period of decline. The book will offer a new approach to the cultural resurgence of ballet in relation to three key themes of early twentieth-century European history: the development of nationalism, modern aesthetics, and changing configurations of gender.

Professor Karthas' research and teaching interests include French cultural history, aesthetics, nationalism, visual culture, feminist/ gender/women's studies, theories of the body, the politics of visuality, women and the performing arts. Her forthcoming publications include an article entitled, "Gender, Sexuality, and the Body in Ballet: The Rise of the Professional Dancer in Early 20th-Century France" currently under review by The Journal of Social History.


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Last modified: 19-May-2016