About

Alessandra Russo

Professor, Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures, Columbia University

Governing Board Member, SOF/Heyman, Columbia University (2021–Present)

Alessandra Russo is Professor in the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures. Her research studies the theory, practice and display of the arts in the early modern times, with a special emphasis on the artistic dynamics in the context of the Iberian expansion.

Professor Russo is author of the books The Untranslatable Image (Texas University Press; French edition: L’image intraduisible, Les Presses du Réel), El realismo circular (IIE-Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México), and co-editor of Images Take Flight (Hirmer Verlag-distr. University of Chicago Press; Best book award in "theory of art" and Grand Prix du Jury at FILAF and Honorable Mention, ALAA Book Award). She is presently completing A New Antiquity. Art and Humanity as Universal (1400-1600). The book addresses the active role that the artifacts encountered —but also pillaged and collected— in the global context of the Iberian expansion in the Americas, in Africa, and in Asia, had on the modern idea of art. She proposes that their circulation, observation and description generated radically new theoretical approaches toward human artistry (see "An Artistic Humanity” and "Lights on the Antipodes"). Alessandra Russo and Michael Cole have been awarded a Getty Foundation "Connecting Art Histories" grant for a project on the artistic interactions between Spanish Italy and the Iberian Americas in the 16th century.

At Columbia, Professor Russo teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on the Early Modern period with a special emphasis on the artistic dynamics in the context of the Iberian expansion. She has designed for the Global Core of the Columbia College the course Artistic Humanity, which she usually offers once per year.