About Us

Dr. Catherine Wilkins

Read Dr. Wilkins' full bio below and click here for a special faculty spotlight Q&A.

With her varied experience in interdisciplinary research and community engaged teaching, Dr. Wilkins brings a unique perspective to the Judy Genshaft Honors College. An alumna of the University of South Florida, Dr. Wilkins received her BA in humanities in 2000 before pursuing graduate studies at Tulane University in New Orleans. There, she earned a MA in art history and a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary history. During her time as a graduate student, Dr. Wilkins had the opportunity to live abroad in Germany, travel throughout Europe and the Americas, and hold fellowships at the Freie Universität Berlin and the Murphy Institute for Studies in Ethics and Public Affairs. Prior to joining the Judy Genshaft Honors College in 2015, Dr. Wilkins taught at the University of Colorado Boulder and Florida Southwestern State College. 

Dr. Wilkins' scholarly work focuses 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. Dr. Wilkins regularly seeks to build connections between historical artistic productions and contemporary culture, values, practices, and ideas 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, and "From Middens to Mermaids: Florida, A Cultural History of Place," which takes students from a Tocobaga village site to Weeki Wachee Springs in search of a better understanding of the state we call home. 

Dr. Wilkins is deeply engaged in service-learning and community-based teaching practices. She offers signature capstone courses in the Judy Genshaft Honors College that pair students with partner organizations to cultivate practical skills while giving back to the community. Dr. Wilkins’ community-engaged classes tend to center around two broad topics: health humanities and sustainable historic preservation. For the former, Dr. Wilkins and her students have partnered with organizations such as the Tampa Museum of Art, the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art, and the Ringling Museum of Art to provide interactions with visual arts that benefit people on both sides of the health care equation – providers and patients alike. Dr. Wilkins and her students practice sustainable historic preservation through partnerships with organizations such as Heritage Village, the Gulf Beaches Historical Museum, and the city of Dunedin, helping them prepare and protect cultural resources from the effects of climate change. 

Dr. Wilkins' diverse range of interests can also be seen in her record of publication, which includes articles such as "Connections: Building Partnerships with
Museums to Promote Intergenerational Service Learning and Alzheimer’s
Care,“ "Where You Come From is Gone: Reinhabiting the Ruins of the Native South," "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).

Contact: Dr. Catherine Wilkins