Susan Sidlauskas began teaching at Rutgers in 2005, after teaching at the University of Pennsylvania for 12 years. In addition to teaching there, Sidlauskas also received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
In her work, she aims to build new historical and conceptual frameworks for understanding modernism: its theories, its objects, its reception and its continuing relevance for contemporary art. Her primary research interests are concentrated upon “The Long Nineteenth-Century” (roughly 1789 to the end of World War I), a period when so many of the ideas and art forms that have shaped our culture emerged: Darwin’s theory of evolution, the study of psychology, film, photography, new models of time, as well as a host of radical new forms of visual art and literature.
Both Sidlauskas’ teaching and research are dedicated to finding a way to demonstrate how those seismic cultural, social, and psychological changes are embedded in the visual structures of the most innovative historical objects we study. Many of her projects have revolved around identifying the traces of how artists collectively imagined the relation of the ever-changing 19th century “self” to its private and public worlds. The relation between self and other is at the core of her book, Cézanne’s Other: The Portraits of Hortense (University of California Press, 2009), winner of the Motherwell Book award from the Dedalus Foundation.