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Xin Conan-Wu

Margaret Hamilton Associate Professor of Art History

Office : Andrews Hall 209
Phone: (757) 221-2530
Email: : [[xwu]]
Areas of Specialization: East Asian Art, representations of nature, garden & landscape studies, intellectual history
Personal Website:

Professor Conan-Wu’s teaching and research bridge art history and contemporary inquiries with a comparative perspective of East-West encounters. The main interest of her scholarship rests upon the representation of nature, in both its two-dimensional forms of paintings, prints and maps, and its three-dimensional forms of gardens, environmental art and designed landscapes. She holds advanced degrees from the UK, Canada and China, and publishes in both English and Chinese. Professor Conan-Wu is the author of Patricia Johanson and the Re-Invention of Public Environmental Art, 1958–2010 (Routledge, 2013 & 2017) and Reconstruction of Modernity: the House & Garden Commission (2 vols. Harvard University Press, 2007); a set of monographs studies intercultural and intermedia exchanges (of visual arts, garden design, Chinese natural philosophy and Native American attitudes) in the process of art creation that resulted in breakthroughs in post-WWII art. She purposefully connects historical studies with present-day environmental concerns in a pair of edited volumes: The Realm of Mountain-and-Water: Gardens and Landscapes in Chinese Culture (SDX Joint Publishing, 2015) and The New Art of Landscape: Conversations between Xin Wu and Contemporary Designers (China Architecture Publishing, 2012). She has received research awards from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (National Gallery), John W. Kluge Center (Library of Congress) and Graham Foundation. Professor Conan-Wu is currently completing a new single-authored book: The Lure of Supreme Joy: Pedagogy and Place-making in Neo-Confucian Academies of the Southern Song.

Courses Taught

Chinese Art & Archaeology; Japanese Art & Archaeology; Modern & Contemporary Chinese Art; Ink Painting; Monuments in Asia; Buddhist Art & Architecture; Nature & Its Representations; Encounters: East-West; Independent Study & Honors Thesis (on Asia, environment and landscape).