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Research at St Andrews

Stephanie O'Rourke


Stephanie O'Rourke
Postal address:
School of Art History
79 North Street
St Andrews
United Kingdom


Direct phone: +44 (0)1334 462358

Research overview

Stephanie O’Rourke specializes in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European visual culture, with an emphasis on material and conceptual exchanges between art and science. Her research interests include the history of knowledge, the body, spectatorship, and media histories; her recent publications on these topics can be found in Art HistoryEighteenth-Century Studies, and elsewhere. She was recently awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for a book project on changing conceptions of geological and historical time in relation to early nineteenth-century art, and will be on research leave from January 2020 to September 2021. 

O’Rourke’s first book project examines the relationship between art and the production of scientific knowledge at the dawn of the nineteenth century. Focusing on the work of Henry Fuseli, Philippe de Loutherbourg, and Anne-Louis Girodet, the book reveals how each artist engaged with the visual, structural, and conceptual features of popular scientific discourses. In doing so, it identifies some of the ways that artworks were critical actors in a larger epistemological transformation taking place at the twilight of European Enlightenment. 

Educated at Harvard University (BA, 2008) and Columbia University (PhD, 2016), O’Rourke is the recipient of grants from the Social Science Research Council, the Yale Center for British Art, the Royal Academy, and the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation. From 2013-2014, she was a Mellon-funded research fellow at The Museum of Modern Art where she worked on the exhibition Degas: A Strange New Beauty. She joined the Art History department at the University of St Andrews in 2016. 

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