Alena Buis

B.F.A. (Hons) (Concordia), M.A. (Concordia), Ph.D. (Queen's)
Dr. A Buis
Surrey Office: Spruce 152D

Limited Term: Fall 2022

I am passionate, dynamic and curious in my learning and endeavour to bring these qualities into my teaching. I encourage students to be creative in their research, thoughtful in their questioning, and clear in their expression. My teaching philosophy is innovation based and learning centred. It embraces diversity, promotes active learning and encourages critical thinking.

In 2013 I completed my PhD at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. My dissertation, "Homeliness and Worldliness: Materiality and the Making of New Netherland and New York, 1609-1750" critically investigated the intersecting topics of domestic interiors, women's history, cultural production and global consumption to explore how Dutch colonial projects intellectually imagined and physically built homes overseas. This research was supported by doctoral fellowships from the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada, the New Netherland Institute, Winterthur Museum, and Queen's Alfred Bader Travel Scholarship.

My research has been featured in Early Modern Women: Remapping Routes and Spaces (2015), The Development of Art in Canada," Professional Practices: Canadian Women Artists (2012), Depicting Canada's Children (2009) and an anthology I co-edited Craft, Community and the Material Culture of Place and Politics, 19th-20th Century (2014). My work has also appeared in peer-reviewed publications such as the Journal of Modern Craft, Dutch Crossing, Material Culture Review, Inuit Art Quarterly, and Cahiers métiers d'art*Craft Journal.

I have presented my research internationally at academic conferences and invited talks and lectured on the history of Canadian art, Dutch visual and material culture at the Society of Early Americanists Biennial Conference, the Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Conference, the University Art Association of Canada Conference, the Association of Art Historians Annual Conference (UK), the Renaissance Society of America Conference, Attending to Early Modern Women, and the Birkshire Conference on the History of Women.

My current research examines the scholarship of teaching and learning as it relates to art history. Teaching has helped me to clarify my own research and has been an important aspect of my professional development. With a wide range of personal, academic and professional interests, I have taught everything from horseback riding lessons to advanced university courses. From these experiences I have grown passionate about enhancing the learning experience, supporting fellow educators and building connections, opportunities, and partnerships that foster exceptional results. As part of an OER Fellowship I am currently examining how to incorporate more open resources and open pedagogy into art history.

Areas of Interest

  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
  • Pedagogy and art historical practices
  • Visual and material culture in early modern Dutch trade networks
  • Gender and artistic production
  • Craft and material culture
  • Canadian art and historiography of Canadian art

Scholarly Work

  • Craft, Community and the Material Culture of Place and Politics, 19th-20th Century. Ashgate Press (2014). Edited with Janice Helland and Beverly Lemire.
  • “Attending to Fishwives: Views from Seventeenth-Century London and Amsterdam,” Early Modern Women: Remapping Routes and Spaces ed. Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks, Ashgate Press (2015).
  • “Re-Constructing the Dutch House: Louise Crowninshield and Early Preservation Communities” Craft, Community and the Material Culture of Place and Politics, 19th-20th Century. Ashgate Press (2014).
  • “‘A Story of Struggle and Splendid Courage’ Anne Savage’s CBC Broadcasts of The Development of Art in Canada,” Professional Practices: Canadian Women Artists. Eds. Janice Anderson and Kristina Huneault. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s Press, 2012, 106-131.
  • “The Raw Materials of Empire Building: Depicting Canada’s “Home Children,” Depicting Canada’s Children. Ed. Loren Lerner. Waterloo: Wilfred Laurier Press, 2009, 133-151.
  • “Sanaugait in Nunavut,” Journal of Modern Craft 6 no. 2 (July 2013), 187-204. With Sarah E.K. Smith.
  • “Imagining New Netherland: An Art Historian’s Perspective on the Visual Culture of New Netherland,” de Halve Maen 85 no. 4 (Winter 2012).
  • “Trifling Things: The Sara Lewes Memorial Lepel and Vork,” Dutch Crossing, 36, no. 3, (November 2012). With Kevin Brown.
  • “Review of Dutch New York Between East & West: The World of Margrieta van Varick,” Material Culture Review, (Spring 2012) 68-77.
  • “Introduction to Craft, Creative Work and Networks of Indigenous Knowledge,” Special Issue of Cahiers métiers d’art*Craft Journal 5 no. 1 (Fall 2011). With Sarah E.K. Smith.
  • “Interview with Theresie Tungiluk” Inuit Art Quarterly 26 no. 2 (Summer 2011): 28-32. With Sarah E.K. Smith.
  • “Thread, Fur and Hair: Preserving Inuit Histories through Textiles,” Cahiers métiers d’art*Craft Journal 2 no. 4 (May 2011): 124-132. With Sarah E.K. Smith.
  • “Étude de cas de l’Homme au Kayak : La façon don’t nous considérons les objets dans une collection de métiers d’art/ A Case Study of the Kayak Man: How Do We Think About Objects in Craft Collections,” Cahiers métiers d’art*Craft Journal 3 no. 1 (Fall 2009): 7-23.
  • “Tout sur l’Alberta/ Definitely All about Alberta” Cahiers métiers d’art*Craft Journal 2 no. 1 (Summer 2008): 98-103.
  • “Le côté pratique de la décoration: Borduas et l’École du meuble/ The Practical Side of Decorating: Paul-Émile Borduas at the École du meuble,” Cahiers métiers d’art*Craft Journal 1 no. 2 (Winter 2008): 38-50.
  • “…Where the horse serves only as a grand base for the elevation of the ruler. Anthony van Dyck’s Equestrian Portraits of Charles I,” Concordia University Journal of Art History. (June 2005.)
  • “François-Marc Gagnon: Bibliographie/Bibliography,” Journal of Canadian Art History 33, no. 1 (2012): 166-187. Prepared with Denis Longchamps.
  • “The Un-Houwelyk: Home and Hospitality in New Netherland and early New York,” The Society of Early Americanists 8th Biennial Conference. Savannah, Georgia, February 28- March 2, 2013.
  • “Getting Time on our Side: A Pedagogical Experiment,” Attending to Early Modern Women: It’s About Time,” University of Wisconsin, June 18-20, 2015.
  • “Objects on the Edge,” Birkshire Conference on the History of Women, University of Toronto, May 22-25, 2014. Panel organizer and chair.
  • “Wilden Huysen: Sites of Exchange,” Emerging Scholars Round Table, New Netherland Institute, New-York Historical Society, October 4, 2013.
  • “Interiors and Identities: Investigating Spaces in Context,” Panel, University Art Association of Canada, Concordia University. November 1-3, 2012. With Johanna Amos.
  • “Professional Development Round-table: From Defence to Interview: How to Plan for Your First Job,” University Art Association of Canada, Concordia University. November 1-3, 2012. Session Chair with Sarah E.K. Smith