Gretchen Bender


As assistant chair and director of undergraduate studies for the department, Gretchen Holtzapple Bender devotes her attention to teaching, curriculum development and pedagogy, and oversees the educational and pre-professional advising of around 180 undergraduate majors in HAA and architectural studies. She has enjoyed teaching at the University of Pittsburgh since 2002, offering a wide range of courses including the introductory History of World Art that she designed, several courses in modern art and architecture, and research and writing seminars on feminism and art history, Romantic landscape, Berlin Architecture, and ‘Making Space: Agency, Identity and Representing Representation’. She has played a central role in the revision of the core curriculum in the undergraduate HAA program and established a developmental advising process for the department. New initiatives that she has implemented or overseen include HAAARCH!!!!, the annual departmental showcase that features undergraduate achievement, the Museum Studies minor and the Milton Fine Fellowships in Museum Professions, and the revision of the Preservation minor. Completing her dissertation at Bryn Mawr College under the guidance of Christiane Hertel, Bender’s research focuses on the landscape practice of Caspar David Friedrich in the context of a broader and emerging European visual culture. Specifically, she is interested in the gendering of place and embodied spectatorship in early 19th-century European culture.