Jimena Berzal de Dios, PhD

She/her, Professor


“You will ever remember that all the end of study is to make you a good man and a useful citizen.”

– John Adams


I am excited to have the opportunity of being a contributor to your experience and success here at WWU!

I hold a PhD in art history from the Ohio State University and a BA/MA in philosophy from CUNY Queens College. I have been at Western since 2014. I mostly teach early modern art history courses (Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo), and sometimes architecture, aesthetics, and historiography. As a teacher, I'm always interested in fomenting dialogue in the classroom and exploring artworks and ideas in depth. In my classes, my goal is to embrace art in a sophisticated, but not pedantic way.

My research and writing explores notions of reception, civic engagement, and the afterlives of artworks. In recent years I have become increasingly interested in affective sincerity and rhetorical intimacy in my writing as a way to respond to the detachment and irony of postmodernism. Resulting from those notions, and having always lived with mental illnesses, I have also been recently working on bringing more visibility and discursive legitimacy to issues of mental health and disability.

When I am not teaching or writing, I enjoy traveling, reading, fencing, cooking, watching the NBA (bring back the sonics!), playing board games like Twilight Struggle, and apparently now during the pandemic, rewatching Takeshi's Castle. I used to be a sound engineer and sound designer, and music remains very important: I like prog stuff like Animals As Leaders, folk like Joan Shelley, and the classics, from Bach to Coltrane... I'm also into more avant garde noise-leaning bands like Einstürzende Neubauten and Menace Ruine. Sometimes I also make experimental music, like this: https://adargaantigua.bandcamp.com/album/a-la-deriva 



Visual Experiences in Cinquecento Theatrical Spaces. University of Toronto Press, 2019.


Peer-Reviewed Articles

“Chthonic Restitutions: Madness and Oblivion.” SubStance 49, no. 3 (2020):3-18

“An Epistolary Education,” Electronic Sixteenth Century Journal – Early Modern Classroom Supplement 51, no. S1 (2020). Web.

“Uccello’s Fluttering Monument to Hawkwood, with Schwob and Artaud.” diacritics 44, no. 2 (2016):86-103

“Velázquez’s Democritus: Global Disillusion and the Critical Hermeneutics of a Smile.” Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme 39, no. 1 (2016): 35-62

“A Note on Deleuze and Renaissance Art.” SubStance 45, no. 1 (2016): 44-65

​“Conjuring the Concept of Rome: Alterity and Synecdoche in Peruzzi’s Design for La Calandria.” Sixteenth Century Journal 45, no. 1 (2014): 25-50


Curated Shows

Always Look on the Bright Side of Mental Illness. Make.Shift Gallery: Bellingham, February 2020.

Estival Observations: Space, Monument, Thought. Curated show at the Western Gallery: Bellingham, Summer 2018.



​“In the Classroom with Professor Hilail Gildin.” Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy 43, no. 1 (2016):15-17

The Name of the Rose, as yet.” apt, Tenth-Anniversary Issue (Winter 2015). Web.

Slow Teaching.” Art History Teaching Resources. September 2015. Web.

Learning Evolves.” Smarthistory Blog. August 2015. Web.

Palladio and Scamozzi, Teatro Olimpico.” Smarthistory. October 2015. Web.

Andrea Palladio, Villa Rotonda.” Smarthistory. September 2013. Web

The Surrender of Breda by Diego Velázquez.” Smarthistory. May 2013.

Interview with Christopher Atkins, Associate Curator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and author of The Signature Style of Frans Hals.” The Art Founders Project. January 2013. Web.