Carmenita Higginbotham

Carmenita Higginbotham

Associate Professor
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Department of Art
Office location and address
151 Rugby Rd
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
PhD University of Michigan, 2005

Carmenita Higginbotham’s research examines early 20th century American art with an emphasis on how notions of "the city" have had an impact on representation. Her book, The Urban Scene: Race, Reginald Marsh and American Art (Penn State University Press, 2015), considers how Reginald Marsh as an American Scene artist represents African Americans during the 1930s. The Urban Scene situates the language of racial representation within urban contexts invested in the legibility of New York’s landscape and responding to a growing interracialism in popular public spaces.

Higginbotham joined the faculty in 2005. Her undergraduate teaching includes lecture courses on the history of American Art, Popular Visual Culture, African American art, and Art Film. Her graduate seminars have included 1930s: Poverty, Politics and American Art, and Problems in American Art: The City.

Her teaching in the Art History Department is complimented by her courses in UVa’s Program in American Studies. As joint faculty in this undergraduate major, she offers cinema studies courses on topics such as American film noir, Hollywood and the Great Depression, and 20th century stardom. She also teaches on the cultural and visual impact of Disney in American popular culture. She is currently American Studies’ Director of Undergraduate Programs.

ARTH 1505: Art and the Modern World
Credits: 3
This course will train students to understand and critically evaluate comparative, modern global cultures.
AMST 2001: Introduction to American Studies
Credits: 3
This course introduces students to American Studies, the interdisciplinary study of US culture. Students will be exposed to the three main categories of American Studies methods, historical analysis, close analysis, and fieldwork and to a broad variety of cultural forms, including films, photographs, music, sermons, journalism, fiction, speeches, court decisions, government documents, and web-based materials including social media sites.
ARTH 2275: Heroes, Superheroes and American Visual Culture
Credits: 3
This course examines the aesthetic and cultural importance of 'heroes' and heroic representation in American visual culture from the mid-18th century to the present. It considers the construction and representation of heroic figures within debates about aesthetics, national identity, political representation, and popular culture. Presented both chronologically and thematically, this coure is both reading and writing intensive.
ARTH 2559: New Course in History of Art
Credits: 3–4
This course provides the opportunity to offer new topics in the subject History of Art.
ARTH 2752: America! Art, Identity, Politics
Credits: 3–4
This lecture course will examine the importance of identity and politics in the visual arts (painting, sculpture, photography, prints) of the United States from the Civil War to World War II. Particular attention will be paid to the cultural, political and social issues that frame the production and reception of images.
ARTH 2772: Dark Men and Deadly Women: Noir and American Cinema
Credits: 3
This course examines the aesthetic and cultural importance of film noir in American cinema. With a prominent focus on these stylish mid-20th century crime dramas, we will consider a range of topics including the significance of "the city" and urban culture, debates and performances of gender, class and race, and the impact of noir's style on contemporary Hollywood movies.
AMST 3559: New Course in American Studies
Credits: 1–4
New Course in the subject of American Studies
ARTH 3993: Independent Study
Credits: 1–3
Independent study in the history of art
AMST 4472: Hollywood Cinema's Golden Age: The 1930s
Credits: 3
This course examines American cinema produced in Hollywood during the 1930s. While the Great Depression serves as an important backdrop to our investigation, we will interrogate how issues such as ethnic/racial representation, shifting gender roles, sexuality, and urbanity are mediated in popular cinema in this decade. The course also considers the studio system, the Hayes Code, stardom, and changes within narrative and film techniques.
IMP 4970: Interdisciplinary Thesis
Credits: 3
Required Thesis for Interdisciplinary majors.
IMP 4971: Interdisciplinary Thesis
Credits: 3
Required Thesis for Interdisciplinary majors.
AMST 4993: Independent Study
Credits: 3
An elective course for American Studies majors who have completed AMST 3001-3002. Students will work with an American Studies faculty member to support the student's own research. Topics vary, and must be approved by the Program Director. Prerequisite: AMST 3001, 3002, Instructor Consent.
AMST 4998: Distinguished Majors Program Thesis Research
Credits: 3
Students spend the fall semester of their 4th years working closely with a faculty advisor to conduct research and begin writing their Distinguished Majors Program (DMP) thesis.
ARTH 4998: Undergraduate Thesis Research
Credits: 3
Research for a thesis of approximately 50 written pages undertaken in the fall semester of the fourth year by art history majors who have been accepted into the department's Distinguished Majors Program.
ARTH 4999: Undergraduate Thesis Writing
Credits: 3
Writing of a thesis of approximately 50 written pages undertaken in the spring semester of the fourth year by art history majors who have been accepted into the department's Distinguished Majors Program.
AMST 4999: Distinguished Majors Thesis Seminar
Credits: 3
This workshop is for American Studies majors who have been admitted to the DMP program. Students will discuss the progress of their own and each other's papers, with particular attention to the research and writing processes. At the instructor's discretion, students will also read key works in the field of American Studies. Prerequisites: admission to DMP.
ARAH 8695: Special Reading Problems
Credits: 3–12
Special Reading Problems
ARAH 8998: Non-Topical Rsch, Masters Prep
Credits: 1–12
For master's research, taken before a thesis director has been selected.
ARAH 8999: Non-Topical Research, Masters
Credits: 1–12
For master's research, taken under the supervision of a thesis director.
ARAH 9575: Seminar in the Art of the Americas
Credits: 3
Investigates problems in art of the Americas
ARAH 9995: Supervised Research
Credits: 3–12
Supervised Research
ARAH 9998: Non-Topical Rsch,Doctoral Prep
Credits: 1–12
For doctoral research, taken before a dissertation director has been selected.
ARAH 9999: Non-Topical Research, Doctoral
Credits: 1–12
For doctoral research taken under the supervision of a dissertation director.