Kirsten Burke: 2021 Derek C. Bok Award Citation

August 5, 2021
Kirsten Burke headshot

Kirsten Burke, a PhD candidate at HAA, recently won the Derek C. Bok Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching of Undergraduates. Only five people are named each year. Testimonials were collected from her students as part of the nomination process and written up in a citation which can be read in full on the GSAS website.

“While she was keen for everyone to participate, she would never be forceful,” a student of Burke’s says. “Instead, her enthusiasm for the subject would rub off on everyone around her. Her knowledge and passion for this subject in particular, and the discipline of art history more generally, is infectious.”

In the courses she teaches, Burke helps students gain an understanding both of specific readings and of how to discuss art history texts in general. “She always got the balance right between giving her much more informed opinion of the texts, especially the difficult ones, and allowing us to express our views and thus develop an independent art historical voice,” says another student. “She is very knowledgeable on all the material and is able to synthesize the more difficult concepts of the readings with clarity and precision that demonstrates her intelligence.”