Katerina Korola

Humanities Teaching Fellow, Department of Art History and the College; Affiliate Teaching Fellow in Cinema and Media Studies
Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2021; BFA Art History and Film Studies, Concordia University, 2014
Research Interests: History of photography, early and silent cinema, environment and ecological aesthetics, theories and aesthetics of modernism(s), visual culture of science, designed environments.


Katerina Korola is a Humanities Teaching Fellow at the University of Chicago. Interested in the increasingly blurred boundaries between nature and artifice in the wake of the scientific revolutions of the nineteenth century, her research focuses the production and representation of ‘natural’ phenomena like water, plants, and clouds in photography and film in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Her dissertation, “How to Photograph the Air: Photography, Cinema, and the Problem of Atmosphere in German Modernism, 1893-1933,” completed with the support of the Hanna Holborn Gray Dissertation Completion Fellowship, the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies, and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, investigated the aesthetic and material challenges that the elements of the industrial atmosphere posed for photographers, filmmakers, and critics active in Wilhelmine and Weimar Germany.

She is currently working on a book manuscript, Picturing the Air: Photosensitive Media and the Atmosphere of Industrial Modernity, which examines early twentieth-century attempts to picture ‘fresh air’ through the media of photography and film. Other research interests include set design, studio architecture, greenhouses, and other designed environments; the intersection of media practices and nature conservation efforts; scientific photography and film; the history of botanical illustration and vegetal ornament, especially at the turn of the twentieth century; and abstraction across media (especially the monochrome format).

Selected Publications

  • “The Air of Objectivity: Albert Renger-Patzsch and the Photography of Industry,” Representations 157 (Winter 2022): 90-114.
  • “Blue Like the Mediterranean: The Work of the Monochrome in the Atlas Group Archive,” Journal of Visual Culture 20, no. 2 (August 2021): 455-477.



—Picturing the Earth: Art and Environment in the Modern Era (CMST 27822, Autumn 2021)
—Modern Art from the Enlightenment to Today (ARTH 15780, Autumn 2021)
—Film and the Moving Image (CMST 14400, Spring 2022)
—Art, Science, and Modern Media (ARTH 17190, Spring 2022)

Previously Taught Courses 

—Art History Senior Seminar, Thesis Workshop  (ARTH 29800)
—Introduction to Film (CMST 10100)