Lianne McTavish

Professor, History of Art, Design, and Visual Culture

Office: 3-108 Fine Arts Building

Areas of Teaching and Research

Teaching: History of early modern visual culture, history of medicine, history of the body, critical museum theory, cultural studies

Research: Early modern French visual culture with a specialization in images of health, healing, childbirth and anatomical dissection; history of museums with a specialization in critical museum theory

I have recently completed my fourth book, called Voluntary Detours: Small Town and Rural Museums in Alberta, a SSHRC-funded research project on over 300 museums located throughout Alberta. This book analyzes the different experiences of driving to visit museums and the representation of natural resource extraction at key sites, among other issues.


PhD, University of Rochester, 1996

Lianne McTavish offers courses in early modern visual culture and critical museum theory. Her research has been generously funded by, among other sources, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Killam Research Fund. McTavish has published over 40 refereed articles/book chapters, several edited collections, and four single-authored monographs, including Defining the Modern Museum (University of Toronto Press, 2013) and Voluntary Detours: Small-Town and Rural Museums in Alberta (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2021; see also Her current collaborative research project aims to unsettle pioneer museums in Alberta. McTavish regularly curates exhibitions of contemporary art.

View full curriculum vitae.