Karen Carter, Ph.D.


Ph.D.The University of Chicago, Art History

M.A. University of South Carolina, Art History

B.A. University of South Carolina, History and Art History

At KCAD Dr. Carter teaches courses on the history of art and design including History of Graphic Design, History of Prints, History of Illustration, Modern Art, Art Criticism, and Art History Methods/Historiography. She has a joint appointment with KCAD’s Visual and Critical Studies Program (M.A.), in which teaches Cultural Criticism, Research and Methods, and Paris and the Visual Culture of Modernity (graduate seminars).

Dr. Carter’s scholarship focuses on turn-of-the-century American and European posters and illustrations. She has received grants and fellowships from the University of Chicago, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Getty Research Institute, the French-American Foundation, the Library of Congress, and the National Endowment of the Humanities. She has presented papers at regional, national and international academic conferences organized by the College Art Association, the Midwest Art History Society, the Society for French Historical Studies, and the Nineteenth-Century French Studies Colloquium.

Her research has been has been published in the peer-reviewed journals Journal of Design History, Nineteenth-Century French Studies, Space and Culture, and Yale French Studies among others. She co-edited with Susan Waller Modern Artists and Communities in Modern Paris, 1870-1914: Strangers in Paradise (Ashgate 2015). She is currently completing a book about the display and reception of illustrated posters in fin-de-siècle Paris.




Foreign Artists and Communities in Modern Paris, 1870–1914: Strangers in Paradise, co-edited with Susan Waller. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2015 (ISBN: 978-1-4724-4354-0). Contributors: Juliet Bellow, Ewa Bobrowska, Norma Broude, Emily Burns, Paul Fisher, Sharon Hecker, Zoë Marie Jones, Cindy Kang, Laura Karp Lugo, Donald McCallum, Thomas Rimer, Nicholas Sawicki, Richard Sonn, and Maite van Dyck.

Posters, Politics and the Boundaries of Art in Paris, 1880–1900, a monograph that analyzes the critical reception, display, and spectatorship of late nineteenth-century illustrated posters in light of Parisian urbanism (in progress).


Book Chapters:

“’Earning a Living’ in the International Graphic Arts: The Académie Julian and the Teaching of Poster Design and Illustration, 1890–1914.” In Foreign Artists and Communities in Modern Paris, 1870–1914: Strangers in Paradise, edited by Karen L. Carter and Susan Waller, 53–65. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2015.

With Susan Waller, “Introduction, Strangers in Paradise: Foreign Artists and Communities in Modern Paris, 1870–1914.” In Foreign Artists and Communities in Modern Paris, 1870–1914: Strangers in Paradise, edited by Karen L. Carter and Susan Waller, 1–24. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2015.


Peer-Reviewed Articles:

“’Masterpieces for Rag-Pickers’: Working-Class Crowds and Censorship of Political Posters in Paris, 1881–1893” Space and Culture 18, 4 (November 2015) 358-71.

 “The Specter of Working-Class Crowds: The Political Censorship of Posters in Nineteenth-Century Paris,” Yale French Studies no. 122 (December 2012) 130–59.

 “Joris-Karl Huysmans, A Dénicheur of Jules Chéret’s Posters,” Nineteenth-Century French Studies, v. 41, nos. 1 & 2(Fall/Winter 2012–2013) 122-41.

 “The Spectatorship of the affiche illustrée and the modern city of Paris, 1880-1900,” Journal of Design History v. 25, no. 1 (March 2012) 11-31.

“Unfit for Public Display: Female Sexuality and the Censorship of Fin-de-Siècle Publicity

Posters,” Early Popular Visual Culture, v. 8, no. 2 (May 2010) 107-24.


Exhibition catalogue essay:

“L’Age de l’affiche: Critics, Collectors and Urban Contexts,” in Toulouse-Lautrec and the French Imprint: Sources and Legacies of Fin-de-Siècle Posters, Paris – Brussels – Barcelona. Curated and edited by Dennis Cate. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Museum of Art, 2005.