Asbury Professor Presents Research at University of Oxford
July 11, 2016
Asbury University’s Art Department may have a close-knit feel, but don’t be fooled — it also has a global reach.
Last week, Dr. Linda Stratford, professor of Art History at Asbury, joined researchers from some of the world’s most prestigious institutions during a conference at the University of Oxford.
Presenting on the work of a group of French artists who worked during the Vichy regime, Stratford expanded her understanding of an important period in art history and shared ideas with prominent researchers in the field.
“It was really fun to be in room where the presenters were from Princeton, Yale, Columbia, the Sorbonne and Asbury,” Stratford said. “It was a privilege to confer with scholars who are studying the research questions being asked today.”
Stratford’s participation at the conference was supported both by the University of Oxford and by faculty development funds from Asbury University. Click here to learn more about Asbury’s vision for increasing faculty development support.
“I have the Provost’s Office to thank for helping make this possible,” Stratford said. “We need more and more partnerships that enable these kinds of opporutnities. It’s important for Asbury’s name to show up at these other institutions of excellence.”
The research Stratford presented did not begin as familiar material. In fact, she chose a topic that required her to cover a great deal of new ground in only eight months. It was a deliberate choice — the constant challenge of research helps Stratford maintain a dynamic learning environment both for herself and for her students.
“I learned so much and got a piece of the puzzle in my research filled in,” Stratford said. “Without the discipline of having to present a paper, that might not have happened.”
In addition to expanding her own understanding of her subject, Stratford’s emphasis on research informs her material and methods in the classroom.
“I don’t call on students to do something I’m not doing,” Stratford said. “I come to subjects with curiosity, asking ‘Why?’ I want to draw students into that same approach. Rather than starting with a proposition, we start with exploration, with what we don’t know yet, and learn it together in steps.”
To learn more about Asbury’s Art Department, visit: asbury.edu/art