Concordia's Faculty of Fine Arts will soon have a new dean. Annie Gérin, professor, scholar and accomplished administrator, will join the university at the beginning of July. Her term officially begins on August 1.
"Concluding an extensive search across Canada and the United States, the committee was highly impressed with Annie's vision for the faculty's future. She is a well-known and highly respected member of Canada's art history community," says Anne Whitelaw, interim provost and vice-president, Academic.
"Annie's exceptional track record in senior academic leadership roles and in university governance, as well as her commitment to respect-based dialogue and decolonization, will be of great value to Concordia and serve her well as a key member of our senior leadership team."
Whitelaw highlights Gérin's demonstrated knowledge of the Quebec and Canadian cultural scenes as well as her skill at relationship-building — internally, with university stakeholders and with different levels of government. "These will be of great significance in further expanding the faculty's and university's networks, opportunities for cross-cutting collaborations and reputation," she notes.
"I warmly thank Rebecca Duclos for her outstanding leadership of the Faculty of Fine Arts across her five-year mandate as dean. She developed and implemented a strong strategic direction and vision for the faculty and firmly established Concordia as an anchor institution in Montreal's cultural scene."
'Abundance of current and future opportunities'
A professor of Art History, Gérin has held many roles at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). Currently the interim dean of the Faculté des arts at UQAM, she served as associate dean, research and research-creation from 2018 to 2019 and was chair of the Département d'histoire de l'art from 2013 to 2016. Prior to her arrival at UQAM, Gérin was a faculty member in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Regina (2000-2004), moving to the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa in 2004.
"I am excited by the opportunity of working with Concordia's dynamic faculty and staff and in supporting the scholarly accomplishments and thought-provoking creative practices of the university's faculty, students and alumni," Gérin says.
"Concordia holds a key position in Montreal's cultural scene. Its Faculty of Fine Arts is uniquely poised to develop the programs and partnerships that will change education in the fine arts, and the way we think about the role art can play in society."
She points to Concordia's strong reputation provincially, nationally and internationally as being invaluable in opening doors for its students.
"I look forward to collaboratively building on this legacy to ensure that the faculty remains synonymous with excellence in teaching and learning, and to support the influential research and research-creation practices of its faculty, students and graduates."
Fluent in English, French and Russian, Gérin holds a PhD in the History of Art and Cultural Studies from the University of Leeds, a Master of Art History from York University and a BA in art history from the Université de Montréal.
She has published extensively and is well known for her research in Canadian and Soviet art in the 20th and 21st centuries, with a special interest in art as experienced by non-specialized publics outside of gallery spaces.
Gérin's scholarly and popular publications include three monographs, six co-edited books and catalogues, two special issues of journals, 18 book chapters and 15 peer-reviewed journal articles. Her work has received continued funding for individual and collaborative research projects from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Fonds de Recherche du Québec - Société et Culture.
Recent publications include Devastation and Laughter: Satire, Power and Culture in the Early Soviet State, 1920s–1930s (2018), Françoise Sullivan: sa vie et son oeuvre (2018) and the collection of essays Sketches from an Unquiet Country: Canadian Graphic Satire 1840-1940 (2018, co-edited with Dominic Hardy and Lora Senechal Carney).
Gérin was a member of the editorial team at RACAR (Revue d'art canadienne / Canadian Art Review), the scholarly journal of the Universities Art Association of Canada (UAAC) from 2012 to 2014, and assumed the role of editor-in-chief from 2014 to 2019.
She was awarded the 2019 Recognition Award from the UAAC in honour of her exceptional contributions and dedicated service to the association and demonstrated unwavering commitment to its professional ideals.
As chair of the search committee, Whitelaw extends her deep appreciation to the committee members: Juan Carlos Castro, Clara Micheau, Etta Sandry, Suzanne Sauvage, Tom Simpkins, Johanne Sloan, Cilia Sawadogo, Harry Standjofski and Guylaine Vaillancourt. Their collegial attitude and instrumental advice identified Gérin's seamless fit for the position of Concordia's dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts.
Andrea Renaud acted as the secretary to the committee.