Abi Shapiro is a PhD candidate in the department of Art History and Communications at McGill University, supervised by Professor Amelia Jones. Her research interests are broadly situated in the field of interdisciplinary art practices in North America in the 1960s and 1970s, while her doctoral research specifically considers the intersections of feminism and conceptualism in architecture, installation art and large-scale sculpture. Within this framework, Shapiro’s PhD dissertation focuses on the career and artwork of Ree Morton in order to investigate the possibilities and problems of historicizing feminist installation art in art history. Shapiro’s research explores theoretical questions of identity, gender, space, embodiment, agency, and authorship through interdisciplinary feminist methodologies. She is particularly interested in the material documentation of process and praxis in artists’ diaries, sketchbooks, letters and notebooks and the role of (auto)biographical ephemera in interdisciplinary feminist scholarship.
In the Winter term of 2013, Shapiro co-taught Methods of Art History (Level 300) and in the Fall term of 2013 is the course instructor for Art Now (Level 300). She is the recipient of several McGill Excellence Graduate Awards, a Research Collection Grant from the Canadian Centre for Architecture, a Media@McGill Beaverbrook Traveling Scholars Award and a McGill Arts Faculty Graduate Student Travel Award.
Shapiro holds a 1st Class BA (Hons) in English Literature and Art History from Durham University in the UK, an MA (Distinction) in the History of Art from The Courtauld Institute of Art in the UK, as well as a WJEC Foundation Year Diploma in Fine Art and Design from Coleg Menai in the UK where she also won first place for her installation art in a national competition. She has previously worked as an editorial assistant at Thames & Hudson publishers in London and was the project administrator in the development of Pontio, a multi-million pound government-funded arts centre in North Wales.