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Focus on the Faculty: Shelley Zuraw

Alan Flurry

Associate professor of art history and 2019 Meigs Teaching Professor Shelley Zuraw makes her expertise in Renaissance and Baroque art resonate with today's students:

“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. 


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.”

Zuraw leads with her belief in the power of writing. As a teacher and administrator, she has integrated that commitment into practice, reinforcing the dynamism of a humanities education as integral to every profession. Writing about art opens a broad and boundless understanding of the world. One of our very best.

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