Two essays on the state of art history in Ireland, with reference to the general question of how art history is taught in smaller countries.
Art History in Smaller Countries ("The State of Irish Art History," parts 1 and 2)
Two essays (2003, 2006)
This is a pair of essays on the state of art history in Ireland, written when I first joined the faculty of University College Cork in 2003. The second essay was a kind of farewell, written when I left that job in 2006. It provoked a number of essays (to which I wrote a final response), which are not uploaded here, but are available online.
The first essay is about Irish art history, but it is also intended as a way of thinking about how art history is taught in a number of smaller first-world countries. North American universities often have the luxury of hiring faculty who can cover large portions of the world. Smaller countries, including many in Europe, don’t have that capacity. The essay is an attempt to assess the possibilities when the pressure to "cover the world" comes mainly from the outside. In addition, smaller countries often have lower budgets and fewer faculty who travel internationally; the result can be conservative, regionally-based curricula that are not always in touch with current international concerns.
There are three texts:
1. The original essay: "The State of Irish Art History," Circa [Dublin] 106 (2003): 56–59. (This is in Slovenian as "Stanje umetnostne zgodovine na irskem," translated by Tina Košak, Umetnostna kronika 15 : 31-34.)
2. The farewell essay: "The State of Irish Art History Revisited," Circa 116 (summer 2006)
3. The "Response" [to eight letters responding to the original essay, by Joan Fowler, Lucy Cotter, Maeve Connolly, Mia Lerm Hayes, Róisín Kennedy, Rosemarie Mulcahy, Sheila Dickinson, and Siún Hanrahan], Circa 118 (winter 2006): 45-47. That correspondence is on the Circa website.