Stephen Whiteman

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Dr Stephen Whiteman

Senior Lecturer in the Art and Architecture of China

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23 Aug
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Stephen Whiteman’s research and teaching focuses on the visual and spatial cultures of early modern China in their global contexts. His current work looks at connected histories of landscape and space in the Qing Dynasty as expressed through gardens, visual culture, and cultural memory. In Where Dragon Veins Meet: The Kangxi Emperor and His Estate at Rehe (Washington UP, 2020), he explores the construction and deployment of landscape as a medium for imperial ideology in the cosmopolitan early Qing court. His first book, Thirty-Six Views: The Kangxi Emperor’s Mountain Estate in Poetry and Prints (Dumbarton Oaks/Harvard UP, 2016), with Richard E. Strassberg, which delves deeply into a transcultural garden album published by the Qing court in the 1710s, received the Foundation for Landscape Studies’s John Brinkerhoff Jackson Book Prize in 2017.

Other major areas of current research include histories of mapping and maritime cultures in China, site-based research in Southeast Asia, and digital methods in art and architectural history. He is the Project Director and co-Chief Investigator for Site and Space in Southeast Asia, a collaborative research project exploring spatial histories of art and architecture in Penang, Malaysia, Yangon, Myanmar, and Huê, Vietnam funded by the Getty Foundation’s Connecting Art Histories initiative. His first CAH project, Ambitious Alignments: New Histories of Southeast Asian Art, also organised with colleagues at the University of Sydney, appeared as a co-edited volume published by Power Publications and National Gallery Singapore in 2018.

On the digital front, he is working on several projects concerned with mapping, spatial construction, and the perception of space and environment in early modern architecture and art. With partners at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, he is developing Visualizing the Mountain Estate, a project in 3-D cartographic and experiential modelling of an eighteenth century imperial landscape in China that has received support through the Getty Foundation and Wired! Labs’s Visualizing Venice initiative. Other research explores modelling of alternative perspectival systems in Qing visual culture.

Stephen studied History of Art, History, and East Asian Studies at Brown University, and earned an MA in East Asian Studies and his PhD in Art History from Stanford University. His research has been supported by fellowships at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art and Dumbarton Oaks Library and Research Collection, as well as grants from the Australian Academy of the Humanities, the Chiang-Ching Kuo Foundation, CAA, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the Mellon Foundation, and the Metropolitan Center for Far Eastern Art Studies, among others. Prior to joining the Courtauld, Stephen was Senior Lecturer of Asian Art, Deputy Director of the Power Institute for Art and Visual Culture, and Associate Curator of Asian Art at the University of Sydney.

Teaching 2019–2020

PhD Supervision

Current

  • Ricarda Brosch, “The Intervening Years: Court Painting between Fluorescence, Death and Revolution (1790s-1840s).” Courtauld Institute of Art (commencing Oct. 2019).
  • Chen Shuxia, “The Grey Zone: The Emergence of Self-Organised Photography Groups in Post-Mao Beijing, 1977–1988.” Australian Centre on China in the World, Australian National University.
  • Pu Lan, “Connections in the Making and Meaning of the Art of Bhutan and Tibet in the 17th and 18th Centuries: A Study of the Wall Paintings at Tango Monastery.” The Courtauld Institute of Art.
  • Wei Bingqing, Art History, University of Sydney (associate supervisor, with Mary Roberts). Modern Chinese art.
  • Steven Dodds, Asian Studies, University of Sydney (associate supervisor, with Adrian Vickers). Contemporary Thai visual culture.
  • Lydia Ohl, The Courtauld Institute of Art (advisor, with Wenny Teo). Contemporary Chinese art.
  • Yasmin Siabi, The Courtauld Institute of Art (advisor, with Sussan Babaie). Safavid Persian art and architecture (commencing Oct. 2019).

Recently Completed

  • Minerva Inwald, ‘“Drawing on Each Other’s Strengths to Overcome Each Other’s Weaknesses”: Professional Artists, the Masses, and the Artistic Culture of the People’s Republic, 1962–1974.’ University of Sydney, 2019 (associate supervisor).
  • Simon S. Y. Soon, ‘What is Left of Art?’ University of Sydney, 2015 (associate supervisor).

Professional Activities

  • President, Landscape History Chapter, Society of Architectural Historians (2019–present; Secretary, 2015–2019)
  • Minister’s Advisory Committee, Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney (2017–2018)
  • Editorial Committee, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art (2017–2018)
  • Field Editor, Asian Art History, www.dissertationreviews.org (2013–2014)

Recent/Major Grants

  • 2017–2020   Site and Space in Southeast Asia. Connecting Art Histories Initiative, The Getty Foundation. With Mark Ledbury and Adrian Vickers. http://siteandspace.org/
  • 2018   Art History Publishing Initiative Grant, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
  • 2017–2018   Sydney Digital Humanities Research Group. FASS Collaborative Research Scheme, The University of Sydney. With Francesco Borghesi, et al.
  • 2017   “Objects and Problems: Transforming Learning in Art History.” Educational Innovation Grant, The University of Sydney. With Mark Ledbury, et al.
  • 2014–2016   Ambitious Alignments: New Histories of Modern Southeast Asian Art. Connecting Art Histories Initiative, The Getty Foundation. With Mark Ledbury and Adrian Vickers. http://ambitiousalignments.com/
  • 2012–2014   A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art.

Research Interests

  • Connected histories of art and architecture in early modern China
  • Visual culture in China, especially painting and print
  • Garden and landscape studies in Asia
  • Court arts in late imperial China (Song­–Qing)
  • Technologies of art and visuality in early modern China
  • Transmediality in early modern art
  • Mobility and artistic transmission in the Indo-Pacific world
  • Decentred histories of art and architecture
  • Digital and computational methods in art and architectural history.

Publications

Books

  • Where Dragon Veins Meet: The Kangxi Emperor and His Estate at Rehe. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2020 (in press).
  • Ambitious Alignments: New Histories of Southeast Asian Art. Singapore and Sydney: National Gallery Singapore and Power Publications, 2018. Co-edited with Sarena Abdullah, Phoebe Scott, and Yvonne Low.
  • Thirty-Six Views: The Kangxi Emperor’s Mountain Estate in Poetry and Prints. Washington, DC and Cambridge, MA: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library & Collection and Harvard University Press, 2016. With Richard E. Strassberg. (John Brinckerhoff Jackson Book Prize, Foundation for Landscape Studies, 2017)
  • Floating Time: Chinese Prints, 1954-2002. Sydney: Power Publications, 2016. Edited and co-authored with John Clark, Minerva Inwald, and Bingqing Wei.

Special Issues

Essays and articles

  • “Aligning New Histories of Southeast Asian Art.” In Stephen H. Whiteman, et al., eds., Ambitious Alignments: New Histories of Southeast Asian Art. Singapore and Sydney: National Gallery Singapore and Power Publications, 2018, pp. 1-12. Co-authored with Phoebe Scott, Sarena Abudullah, and Yvonne Low.
  • “Mimi Gates and Josh Yiu, eds., Chinese Painting & Calligraphy.” Art Bulletin 99.2 (June 2017): 368-373.
  • “Mimi Gates and Josh Yiu, eds., Chinese Painting & Calligraphy” (enhanced digital version). Co-produced with Nancy Um and Lauren Cesiro. http://scalar.usc.edu/works/samosci/index
  • “Late Imperial Landscapes in the Early Modern World.” Studies in the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes 37.2 (Apr., 2017): 99-101. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14601176.2017.1242323
  • “The State of Play in Asian Art Research in Australia and New Zealand.” Australia and New Zealand Journal of Art 16.2 (Dec., 2016): 123-133. Co-authored with Olivier Krischer. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14434318.2016.1240651
  • “Curating Contemporary Asian Art in the Australian Context: Beatrice Gralton, Suhanya Raffel, and Aaron Seeto in Conversation with Stephen Whiteman.” Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art 16.2 (Dec., 2016): 248-264. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14434318.2016.1240653
  • “Floating Time and Shifting Contexts: Printmaking in Twentieth Century China.” In Stephen H. Whiteman, ed., Floating Time: Floating Time: Chinese Prints, 1954-2002. Sydney: Power Publications, 2016, pp. 5-24.
  • “Digital Mapping and Art History.” Ars Orientalis 44 (2015), Article 15. http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/ars.13441566.0044.015
  • A Research-Based Model for Digital Mapping and Art History: Notes from the Field.” Artl@s Bulletin 4.1 (2015), Article 5. http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/artlas/vol4/iss1/5/ Co-authored with Paul B. Jaskot, Anne Kelly Knowles, Andrew Wasserman, and Benjamin Zweig.
  • “From Upper Camp to Mountain Estate: Recovering Historical Narratives in Qing Imperial Landscapes.” Studies in the History of Gardens & Designed Landscapes 33.4 (2013): 249-279. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14601176.2013.799841 (Society of Architectural Historians (US) Landscape History Essay Prize, 2015)
  • “Kangxi’s Auspicious Empire: Rhetorics of Geographic Integration in the Early Qing.” In Jeffrey Kyong-McClain and Du Yongtao, eds., Chinese History in Geographical Perspective. Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 2013, pp. 33-54.

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