Dr. Catherine Wilkins
Dr. Wilkins is a full-time instructor in the Honors College, teaching primarily Arts
and Humanities courses. An alumna of USF, she received her BA in Humanities in the
year 2000, before attending Tulane University in New Orleans, where she earned a MA
in Art History and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary History. As a graduate student, Dr.
Wilkins lived abroad in Germany and Spain, and traveled extensively throughout Europe
and Central and South America. She held fellowships at the Freie Universität Berlin
as well as the Murphy Institute for Studies in Ethics and Public Affairs.
Dr. Wilkins' scholarly work focused on 19th century to contemporary visual and literary culture, and its intersection with sociopolitical issues. She is interested in considering how the arts can serve as manifestations of the ways an individual or group processes and represents their lived experience at a historical moment in time, as well as a means by which people exert influence over the future. Therefore, Dr. Wilkins regularly seeks to build connections between historical artistic productions and contemporary culture, values, practices, and ideas.
Dr. Wilkins was a faculty member for several years at the University of Colorado Boulder
and Florida Southwestern State College before joining USF's Honors College in 2015.
In her classes at USF, Dr. Wilkins engages with current and historical works of art,
literature, and criticism, deepening and enriching the conversation through the inclusion
of pop culture, technology, field trips, and hands-on activities. Some of her favorite
courses to teach are: "New Media, Art, and Culture," which explores the artistic and
social impact of technologies from photography to video games and virtual reality;
"The Romantic Spirit," which examines manifestations of Romanticism's philosophy and
aesthetics in examples ranging from Delacroix, Shelley, and Keats to Buffy the Vampire
Slayer, Aladdin, and Banksy; and "Florida, A Cultural History of Place," which takes
students from Tocaboga Indian mounds to migrant farmers' camps to Weeki Wachee Springs
in search of a better understanding of the state we call home.
Dr. Wilkins' diverse range of interests can also be seen in her record of publication, which includes articles such as "Performing Art History's Problems with New Media," "Morality, Mortality, and Materialism: An Art Historian Watches Mad Men," as well as her book, Landscape Imagery, Politics, and Identity in a Divided Germany, 1968-1989 (Ashgate, 2013). Dr. Wilkins is the faculty advisor for the Honors College's Bedsider student organization and the coordinator of the Honors College Student Art Show. Additionally, she is the faculty liaison for Connections, the partnership between the Honors College and the Tampa Museum of Art, in which students learn to facilitate experiences with art for museum visitors diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, PTSD, and depression.