Recent presentations:

  • American Society for Environmental History (ASEH) Annual Symposium – Boston, MA – March 2023
    • “Why We Weed: The Politics of Plants in the Nineteenth-Century United States”
  • College Art Association (CAA) Annual Conference – New York, NY – February 2023
    • “Unsettling the Syllabus: Applying the Principles of Emergent Strategy to Visual Culture Pedagogy”
    • “Implicit Lessons: The Sociality of Instructional Texts from 1793 to 1993,” session co-chair
  • Dumbarton Oaks Garden and Landscape Studies Symposium – Washington, DC – May 2022
    • “Stewarding a Fractured Landscape: Potted Plants in Tenement Housing”
  • Art Historians of American Art (AHAA), Biennial Symposium – Washington, DC – October 2021
    • “Weeds and Wildflowers: Drawing Plant Politics in New York, 1850–1870”

Academic interests include:

  • American art and material culture
  • the long nineteenth century
  • Atlantic World
  • drawings and prints
  • craft and artistic process
  • histories of pigments & dyes
  • intersections of science and art


Weeds and Wildflowers: Drawing, Landscape, and Abolition in New York, 1850–1870

Examining the relationship between landscape, drawing, and antislavery reform in the U.S. during the nineteenth century, my dissertation offers an interpretive history of The Society for the Advancement of Truth in Art. Active in New York during the 1860s, this collective focused on the moral implications of drawing, notably by sketching plants. They deployed this practice in response to two contexts: the political landscape of Northern abolitionism, and an art world in which nature and nation were intimately entangled. Analyzing an underexamined chapter in which artists heralded new modes of affective, empathetic arts practice, deeply attentive at once to nature and social justice, my work on The Society revises our sense of landscape in American art and what counts as political imagery. Archived at the University of Minnesota Libraries Digital Conservancy (filed Oct 2020)

Stockmann, Colleen. (2020). Weeds and Wildflowers: Drawing, Landscape, and Abolition in New York, 1850–1870. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,