Karla McManus

Visual Arts Department
Assistant Professor

Office: RC 232
E-mail: karla.mcmanus@uregina.ca
Phone: 306-337-2227
Website: https://www.karlamcmanus.com

Research interests
Contemporary art and the environment, the history and theory of photography, Canadian art history, settler-colonial art history, eco-critical art history, eco-media studies, environmental history, animal studies, documentary media.

Dr. Karla McManus is an art historian and visual theorist who specializes in the study of photography and the environmental imaginary. Her scholarly output, in the form of curation, publications, and presentations, focus on how historic and contemporary concerns, from wildlife conservation, to environmental disasters, to anxiety about the future, are visualized photographically. Her current book project, Eco-Photography: Justice, Nature, and the Global Environmental Imaginary, which under advanced contract with McGill-Queen’s University Press, investigates how photography has influenced the global understanding of the current and ongoing environmental crisis.

Karla’s research informs her teaching of the histories and theories of photography and art. She has taught a wide variety of courses on topics including research methods, the history of photography in Canada, and eco-critical art history. From August 2017 to 2019, she was Assistant Professor (Limited Term) in Toronto, at Ryerson University’s School of Image Arts, teaching in the Photography Studies, Film and Photography Preservation and Collections Management, and Documentary Media Programs.

From 2015 to 2017, Karla was a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Art History and Art Conservation at Queen’s University where she researched the mid-century photographs of Lorene Squire in the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives. In 2015, she was awarded a PhD from the Department of Art History at Concordia University funding by a SSHRCC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship. Karla completed her M.A. in Art History at Carleton University, Ottawa in 2009. Born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Karla received a BFA in video art from the University of Manitoba in 2004. 



  • PhD, Art History, Faculty of Fine Arts, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, 2015
  • MA, Art History, School for Studies in Art and Culture, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, 2009
  • BFA, First Class Honours, Department of Video, School of Art, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 2004



Articles and Book Chapters

2020 “The Future-Past, the Future-Present, the Future-Possible: The Chernobyl Exclusion Photographs of David McMillan,” in Through Post-Atomic Eyes. Edited by Claudette Lauzon and John O'Brian. Montreal; Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, forthcoming.

2019 “Romance ‘Between Friends’: Revisiting the National Film Board of Canada’s photobook of the Canada-U.S. Borderline,” in Les lieux des savoirs photographique : livre / Sites of Photographic Knowledge: Book. Montreal and Quebec: Artexte and Formes actuelles de l’expérience photographique (FAEP), in press.

2018 "Above, Below, and Behind the Camera: the Perspective of Animals,” in From Ego to Eco. Mapping Shifts from Anthropocentrism to Ecocentrism. Edited by Tina Pusse and Sabine Müller. Amsterdam; New York: Brill Press, 201-214.

2017 "'These Diminished Waters': Conservation, Camera Hunting, and Settler/Indigenous Conflict in Lorene Squire's Wildfowl Photography of Northern Canada." Journal of Canadian Art History, 36/2 (2015): 56-91.

2016 “Border Lines and Crossing Points: A Response to Andreas Rutkauskas’ Photographs of the Canadian-U.S. Border.” North x West, a Special Issue of Imaginations: Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies, 7/1, Web http://imaginations.csj.ualberta.ca/?p=8768

2016 "Cecil the Lion's Networked Image: The Post-Photographic Media Ecology of Environmental Concern." Post-Photographie? A Special Issue of Captures. Figures, théories et pratiques de l’imaginaire, 1/1, Web. http://revuecaptures.org/article-dune-publication/cecil-lions-networked-image

2015 “Producing and Publishing ‘The Banff Purchase’: Nationalism, Pedagogy, and Professionalism in Contemporary Canadian Art Photography, 1979.” Networked Art History, a Special Issue of the Journal of Canadian Art History, 36/1: 76-101.

2011 “Objective Landscapes: The Mediated Evidence of Repeat Photography.” Intermédialités: histoire et théorie des artes, des lettres et des techniques, 17 (Spring): 105-118. 


Group-authored Refereed Journal Articles: 

2015 Langford, Martha, Elizabeth Anne Cavaliere, Philippe Guillaume, Karla McManus, Sharon Murray, and Aurèle Parisien. "Imaged Communities: Putting Canadian Photographic History in its Place." Journal of Canadian Studies, 49/2: 296-354.

Exhibition Catalogue Essays

2019 “Inside/Outside: Images of the LAND in the Artexte Information Centre Collection,” Montreal, QC: Artexte, n.p. 

2018 "How Anthropo-scenic! Concerns and Debates about the Age of the Anthropocene," in Anthropocene: Burtynsky, Baichwal, De Pencier. Toronto, ON: Art Gallery of Ontario; Fredericton, NB: Goose Lane Editions, 45-56. 

2013 “The Natural World That Remains to be Seen (and Experienced),” in Geneviève Chevalier’s Orford: Territoire Insulaire/Orford: Insular Territory. Chatham, ON: Thames Art Gallery, n.p.

2013 “Revealing Landscape from Sea to Surface: the Photography of Andreas Rutkauskas and Jessica Auer,” in Sea to Surface. Peterborough, ON: Evans Contemporary Gallery, n.p.



Inside/Outside: Images of the LAND in the Artexte Information Centre Collection, Symposium international d’art contemporaine de Baie-St-Paul, Quebec, July 26-August 25, 2019. 

Inside/Outside: Images of the LAND in the Artexte Information Centre Collection, Artexte Gallery Space, Montreal, Quebec, February 6 to April 13, 2019.