Shelley Zuraw, an associate professor of art history in the Lamar Dodd School of Art, was named a 2019 Josiah Meigs Teaching Professor.
Shelley Zuraw has a knack for making Renaissance and Baroque art feel much more modern.
“My field is shifting, and I need to prepare my students, not for the Renaissance art I was trained in, but for the way it is now,” she said.
Perhaps more importantly, she makes it come alive and turns art history into “a subject that one does not rehearse, but rather lives,” said one of
her former students.
In her 27 years with UGA, Zuraw has taught more than 30 courses. She served as area chair for art history from 1998-2008 and associate director of the art school from 1998-2007. During that time, she revamped the school’s art history offerings, planned art history spaces in the school’s building and advised thousands of students.
Her accolades include the Sandy Beaver Teaching Award and Professorship and election to the UGA Teaching Academy.
She also spent 10 years teaching art history to students in the Science Maymester Program in Cortona, Italy.
Zuraw has taught 15 courses in the Writing Intensive Program and said that her commitment to the program “will remain one of the most important examples of my advocacy for teaching.”
She takes that commitment into her own classroom with “S/I’s,” or Sentences and Ideas. Each week, students submit an essay centered on the week’s material. This allows her to “see how much they are grasping of the material, work with them incrementally on their writing and guide them in structuring their own arguments.”
“Unlike the frantic memorization of information on flashcards, this approach equips students with skills necessary for more in-depth art history research by asking us to closely observe, think analytically, make connections and refine the transcription of our thoughts,” a current student said.