Department of Art & Art History

Katherine Arpen

Katherine Arpen


  • PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • MA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • BA, University of Florida

Office Hours

    By appointment

About Katherine Arpen

Katherine Arpen has a BA in art history from the University of Florida and MA and PhD degrees in art history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At Auburn, she has taught introductory art history courses covering the prehistoric to contemporary periods, as well as upper-level courses on South Asia and eighteenth-century Europe. She has also taught undergraduate courses at UNC-Chapel Hill, Wake Forest University, and Guilford College, and served as a teaching associate for university courses at the Ackland Art Museum.

Dr. Arpen’s research centers on eighteenth-century Europe, with particular interests in gender and representations of the body. She is continuing research related to her dissertation, which examined the eighteenth-century French interest in bathing from the perspective of the arts, analyzing a wide range of visual material—including paintings, sculptures, prints, and architectural interiors—to explore the interconnections between bathing and period discourses on aesthetics, sensation, and pleasure. She has recently begun a new project on representations of slavery in the visual culture of late eighteenth-century France, focusing on prints, textiles, and theatrical performances related to the popular novel Paul et Virginie. She has also participated in the development of multiple museum exhibitions, including Lines of Attack: Conflicts in Caricature at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, for which she wrote a catalogue essay on the use of parodic satire in political cartoons.


Last Updated: August 27, 2019