Joan Coutu’s research interests focus on the relationship between art and memory with a particular emphasis on the built environment (architecture, sculpture, landscape design and town planning). She has published extensively on eighteenth-century British visual culture, notably Then and Now: Collecting and Classicism in Eighteenth-century England (2015) and Persuasion and Propaganda: Monuments and the Eighteenth-century British Empire (2006), both published by McGill-Queen’s University Press, and she is currently working on a major project on public art, architecture and planning in early twentieth-century Canada.
Joan teaches Visual Culture and Art History courses in Fine Arts primarily for Studio students and is the co-ordinator of the interdisciplinary program in Visual Culture, based in Fine Arts. She also organizes and teaches several course trips – to Rome, Venice, England, Berlin, etc. - and is actively involved in the MFA program as a co-supervisor.
Originally from Toronto, Joan graduated with a B.A. from the University of Toronto, a M.A. from Queen’s University, Kingston, and a PhD from University College, London (England), all in the History of Art. She joined the Department of Fine Arts in 1996.